Tag Archives: square maurice marland

Wednesday 18th May 2022 – IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG …

crane shrink wrapped speedboat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… to solve the mystery of the clean-looking crane on the dockside.

As it happens, I mentioned yesterday that the name of the manufacturer had been painted out . But today, it’s been painted back in again. Therefore the conclusion that we can draw from this is that it is the old crane that was there, currently undergoing a renovation programme.

We’ll probably see a bit more of the signage painted back in over the nexr few days

But there has been a big change at the quayside today as well. One of the shrink-wrapped speedboats and a pile of freight has disappeared. Presumably one of the little Jersey freighters came in on the morning tide to whisk it away.

But while we’re on the subject of the morning … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’m not going to talk about this morning as you don’t want to hear about it. In fact I didn’t even make any effort to beat any of the alarms this morning.

It took quite a while to make a start as well today and that was extremely depressing. It seems to me that I’m drifting back into how I was in 2003/2004 and I really can’t go through this again.

Somehow I managed to find some enthusiasm to have a play on the guitar. Not very much but it was the first time since I’ve been back from Leuven.

And talking of Leuven, I ‘m beginning to come round to the feeling that my weekend in Paris was the wrong decision. Sleeping dogs are best left to lie and as I remember saying a good few weeks ago when we were talking about snowstorms in Ottawa, it’s wrong to go raking around in the embers of fires that were extinguished a long time ago.

Rosemary was on the phone again this afternoon. It seems that her refugees from Ukraine are now no longer coming. She’s now pondering over how best to proceed now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That took me up to the time to go for my afternoon walk.

And if you are thinking that this afternoon’s photo of people down there on the beach is taken from a different perspective or viewpoint, the fact is that this afternoon I went for a walk around the walls instead of around the headland.

It was another lovely day this afternoon so it was rather a surprise to see so few people down there this afternoon. I was in a tee-shirt again this afternoon and I’d left the window in the living room open last night.

Sumer is acumen in. Lhude sing cucu.

repointing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I wanted to do was to look at the repairs to the medieval city wall and see how they were progressing.

They have erected the scaffolding all around the medieval water closet and it looks as if they are having a good go at that right now.

They have also raked out all of the decaying mortar from the joints in between the stones in the wall so it looks as if they are going to be repointing all of that as well.

It doesn’t look though as if they are using any ballast to weigh down the scaffolding while it’s in position there. I have to say that I admire their confidence in this respect.

repointing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was here I nipped down the steps to have a look to see what was happening on the outside of the wall just here.

As I was looking at the wall I fell in with one of the workmen here. We had a good chat about the work. I told him about the work that I’d done on the stone wall of my house in the Auvergne and he told me that he reckoned they will still be here this time next year doing this.

So having exchanged pleasantries, I climbed back up to the path (which wasn’t easy) and then carried on my way along the path underneath the walls towards the Plat Gousset.

open air swimming pool diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we noticed that the changing cabins had arrived on the Plat Gousset.

That usually means that the town is preparing for the summer season so I was expecting to see the diving platform installed on top of the concrete pillar. But that’s not here yet. They are taking their time with that.

But as far as the outdoor tidal swimming pool goes, I’m told that that they have been working on that today and they will finish of off tomorrow morning ready for the weekend.

You can also see the yellow buoys that mark the area of the beach that is patrolled by lifeguards.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the viewpoint overlooking the beach I walked around the corner to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Once again, despite the nice weather, there weren’t all that many people down there either. It’s a Wednesday afternoon with schools on a half-day closing too so there should be many more people down there than that.

From there I walked off across the Square Maurice Marland that’s looking rather sad these days, especially when you consider all of the money they spent on it a couple of years ago.

On the way past I had a good look at the crane, a photo of which you all saw earlier.

seagull on nest rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye was all of the nests on the roofs in the Rue des Juifs.

The seagulls are settling down on top of their eggs waiting for them to hatch and I don’t imagine that it it will be too long before we have our fist sight of a few little chicks.

From here I went straight home. I was in no mood to go for a wander around. I bumped into one of my neighbours again and we had a chat for a couple of minutes and then I came home where there was a nice hot coffee waiting for me.

Later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There had been some refugee children come from Central Scotland. I’d been organising things, fetching them over, finding them accommodation, sending them there etc. There was one girl who was really nice. Everyone fell in love with her and that was no surprise because she was lovely. I don’t kow how this happened but one morning she was staying in bed at a home where there was another girl and someone else. I had to go and awaken the three of them. They were all being a bit cheeky so in the end I picked up all 3 of them at once and carried them downstairs all in my arms, the three of them. One of them, the English girl, had a driving lesson so I had to organise the car for her. There was much more to it than this of course but I can’t remember any more than that

There were 3 of us in north London in the early 60s. 2 were local boys and one was the son of West Indian immigrants who used to hang around together. This is the story of growing up and dating etc, students and driving down to cafés on the North Circular Road and the A1. In the end I was parked up on an old abandoned section of the A1 reading a book. Crowds of people were going past on their way for a Saturday night somewhere in the town. I was reading my book not really interested in what the others were doing at all. I was quite happy about that. There were some statistics about costs of house repair etc between prices of what you’d pay corporations to do work and what you’d pay the little people to do work. The little people’s prices were surprisingly significant whereas if it was a multi-million pound company to do the work you were probably paying twice as much for the same job. This cut-off was strange because it was all full of cut-down trees and I’d backed my car in among them so people walking past didn’t really see me until the last minute and it took them by surprise that I was there.

Later on I was in Crewe again taxiing. It was Christmas Eve and we were really busy. We had 2 cars working, me and someone else. There was a job from Crewe that we had to go to MacDonalds in Wrexham and if they didn’t have what we wanted we had to go to MacDonalds in Stockport and then come back. I reckoned that it would take about 2 hours to do that round trip. The driver didn’t think so but I was sure that that was what it would take. Anyway we packed him off and I carried on working. I ended up in Earle Street on a bicycle. There were crowds of motor bikers and cyclists around. The police had a barrage across the road and were checking people’s motorbikes for something or other. Some of them were glowing blue as if it was an explosives detector or something like that. I tried to find a policeman to ask but they were all far too busy to talk to me. Some passer-by pointed out a derailleur gear. He asked me about derailleur gears and I thought that it was Swiss but I’d be surprised if it was that that was the problem but he thought that it was. These bikers had huge piles of rocks at their disposal and it looked as if they were going to launch a hail of rocks on someone or something at some particular time and that’s why the police were there

There was more to it than this but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you’re eating your meal right now

Tea tonight was a curry made with the leftovers in the fridge. And it was delicious too. Quite a good one. And now I’m off to bed, especially as I have a headache right now. Here’s hoping that I have a better day tomorrow for a change.

Sunday 24th April 2022 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… my walk this afternoon took me around the medieval city walls to see what was happening around there.

And so while you admire the progress that they have been making with the repointing of the medieval city walls in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and the Rue du Nord, I’ll tell you all about my rather quiet day today.

“Quiet” was definitely the word to use because it didn’t actually start until 11:40 when I finally fell, not without a great deal of difficulty, out of bed.

And even then I wasn’t really in all that much of a mood to do very much for a while.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After brunch I eventually buckled down to work and the first task was to pair up the music of the next radio programme.

That didn’t take too long and then I turned my attention to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

There was a war on. The whole system of supply chains and everything was totally disrupted and nothing was being produced anywhere. One person organised something that churned out tonnes of stuff much quicker than anything else had ever been churned out and was rescuing people from cars (including a girl in a wheelchair whom I know), all kinds of things. It became some kind of by-word on the TV what he was doing but someone actually went behind the scenes afterwards and showed loads of collateral damage that had been done. This was really something that could only be done once because they couldn’t afford the damage that was being committed to the infrastructure and everything in doing it. There was litter and junk abandoned all over the place that couldn’t ever be used again. Barges were just emptied and dumped and didn’t go back for return loads etc.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was also something about a delivery service something like ours … “whose?” – ed … that had all kinds of weird and strange rules about delivery. They were catching people out because of the volume of stuff that they were sending. There was one case where they were sending stuff to be collected by a young family on behalf of a relative but were totally overwhelmed with packets. They had to bring in someone from the company to try to deal with all of these deliveries and deal with all of these children as well in this family who were being disturbed by the continual flow of parcels etc. Again there were parcels dumped all over the place. It was like a runaway juggernaut type of situation with these kids in a pram or pushchair and this guy from the parcel company trying to control them and the parcels, trying to obtain all of the address details changed etc. These two dreams were extremely stressful.

Finally there was a group of soldiers, an informal group who rode into a fort in order to help defend it. They eventually found where the colonel’s office was. He was totally intoxicated rather like the colonel in THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. He told them to take their place wherever they thought fit. Having had a tour of the walls with the colonel, the guy in charge took a huge lump of bread and some cheese, pickels etc and went back to his men. He started to talk to them about the defence of the city and the battle and shared out the food amongst them.

When I listened to what was on the dictaphone, I was quite surprised. I was convinced that there was much more than this too. I had the feeling that I was awake for much of the night dictating into the dictaphone. I know that in the past I’ve caught myself dictating into my hand instead of the dictaphone and I wonder if I’ve been doing that again.

All of this took me up to the time when I would usually go for walkies around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But as I had made up my mind to go around the walls this afternoon I made a little diversion to have a look over the wall at the end of the car park to see who was down on the bach this afternoon.

Although there was quite a strong wind it was really bright and sunny this afternoon and so there wre quite a few people down there, not that there was an awful lot of beach to be on right now.

No-one actually brave enough to put their feet in the water though. It wasn’t actually that warm. That will probably be for another time later on. There are a couple more Bank Holidays coming up imminently

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While I was out there looking down at the beach I had my roving eye looking around out at sea.

Although there was quite a haze out there and not even the Ile de Chausey was visible, there was plenty of activity just offshore. There was a cabin cruiser and a couple of speedboats for a start, and probably a few other things that I couldn’t make out.

No fishing boats though – they must all be having a day off today.

So I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path down past where they were repairing the medieval city walls, dodging the English family with the dog who were trying to negotiate the scaffolding.

But the repairs are continuing along the Rue du Nord right now, even though the big crack in the walls where they have been repairing is filling me with some kind of concern.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I passed through the arch and along the path underneath the walls where I used to go running all that time ago.

Down at the viewpoint overlooking the beach at the Plat Gousset I stopped to have a look down there to see what was happening.

The summer season hasn’t officially started yet. The promenade cabins haven’t arrived on the Plat Gosset yet and the diving platform on the pillar hasn’t been put back. I imagine that that’s for some other time later on.

The tidal swimming pool is looking nice though, although no-one is taking advantage of that right now either.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From there I continued on to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Maréchal Foch.

As well as the vertical-axis wind turbine spinning around in the foreground, we had lots of people milling around on the beach and on the Plat Gousset. The fine weather has certainly brought them out in their droves.

Even the seagull that bombed the photograph on the extreme left-hand edge seemed to be enjoying itself too as it prepares to alight on the roof of the casino down there.

seagull nesting rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While we’re on the subject of seagulls … “well, one of us is” – ed … it’s that time of year again.

The town’s gardeners have been out cutting the grass and the seagulls have been collecting it. They’ve built all of their nests on the roofs of the houses and they are now settling down to lay their eggs.

In a couple of weeks we might catch sight of the eggs and then we can watch the seagull chicks slowly growing up. I shall have to make a note to come by this way more often in order to watch the events as they unfold until the chicks are ready to fly away.

planters square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Here in the Square Maurice Marland there have been a few more developments too.

A few years ago they spent a lot of money renovating the square and then the let it run to seed somewhat. At one time just recently it was looking quite shabby.

However, while I’ve not been paying attantion, they have been slowly bringing it back into condition.

These planters are quite new. They certainly weren’t here before. I wonder what we’re going to see planted in them.

marité belle france ch711273 hermes 1 ch651332 hera ch639451 philcathane ch642969 Galapagos sm734551 hermine Bastien Steeven pl626645 Le P'tit Caprice port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Back into town there wasn’t anything happening so I went to have a look at the port.

With having seen no fishing boats out at sea this afternoon I was expecting to see them all in the harbour. And they certainly were there too.

Quite a few whom we have seen before, like Hermes I, Hera, Philcathane and Galapagos but there are a couple there who are strangers. SM734551 is called Hermine Bastien Steeven, the SM telling us that despite her Dutch name, is from Saint Malo, and PL626645 is called Le P’tit Caprice, registered down the coast at Paimpol in Brittany.

Marité and Belle France are in there today too which is a surprise. They ought to be out at sea earning their keep with a couple of loads of tourists.

Back here I had a coffee and then sat down with the guitar. On the playlist earlier, the song ROLL ME AWAY had come round. When I listened closely to it, I reckoned that it was a fairly simple chord progression so I sat down to work it out.

And it works too. So for my next trick I’ll work out a bass line to it.

Regular readers will recall that I said in the past that I won’t add any more songs to my own acoustic playlist set until I can master the ones there, but this particular one has always been a favourite of mine and it has a certain significance.

“Stood alone on a mountain top
Starin’ out at the Great Divide
I could go East, I could go West
It was all up to me to decide”

Doesn’t that remind me of when I was standing up there on the HIGH PLAINS OF WYOMING in 2002?

And what about
“12 hours out of Mackinaw City
Stopped in a bar to have a brew
Met a girl and we had a few drinks
And I told her what I’d decided to do
She looked out the window a long long moment
Then she looked into my eyes
She didn’t have to say a thing
I knew what she was thinkin’
Roll, roll me away
Won’t you roll me away tonight
I too am lost, I feel double-crossed
And I’m sick of what’s wrong and what’s right
We never even said a word
We just walked out and got on that bike
And we rolled
And we rolled clean out of sight
We rolled across the high plains
Deep into the mountains
Felt so good to me
Finally feelin’ free
Somewhere along a high road
The air began to turn cold
She said she missed her home
I headed on alone”
?

And the air certainly was cold where we were at the time that all of this was going on. Yes, one day I really will, I promise you, write about those three missing days on my blog.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Tea tonight was, as usual, a vegan pizza.

After lunch I’d taken out a lump of frozen dough from the freezer and it had been happily defrosting during the afternoon. When I’d finished what I’d needed to do I rolled it out and when it had proofed I assembled it.

After last week’s unsatisfactory attempt when it was overcooked, I turned the oven down slightly today and that produced a much better effort. I didn’t break any teeth this evening.

But I’m off to bed in a minute. An early start and a radio programme to complete. And two to send off – I mustn’t forget that, as I’m not here next week.

Well, in fact I’m not all here at any time but let’s not bog ourselves down in semantics.

Sunday 27th November 2021 – I ACTUALLY MANAGED …

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to go out and about this afternoon to see what damage Storm Arwen had caused.

First port of call has obviously to be the workmen’s compound down at the bottom. Or, rather, what is left of the workmen’s compound.

Parts of it are all tangled up over there, but the rest of it is all over the place in the car park, along with all kinds of other rubbish that has been blown in from all over the place as well

There are going to be some very unhappy people when they come in the morning to inspect their vehicles.

repairing medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another place that was going to be interesting to see is the face of the medieval city walls that they are repairing underneath the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

The walls are still standing, which is a surprise after the battering that it received, but the protection that the workmen built to protect themselves from objects dropped from above did not. And that’s hardly a surprise becuase, as we said the other day, it looked rather flimsy.

The first job on Monday morning therefore will be to re-erect their little shelter. And then they can crack on with the repairing. And by the looks of things they seem to be doing a reasonable job. We can’t afford to have them going for a Burton.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, up above in the Place, the scaffolding seems to have survived. The 5 tonnes of water in those pallet tanks seemed to have done its job.

All in all, we seem to have been quite fortunate with the storm. Gusts of 136 kph are not to be sneezed at, and the town’s firemen were called out 36 times during the storm, so it seemed that plenty of people had it far worse than we did.

It didn’t even keep me awake all that much. Although I didn’t go to bed as early as I would have liked, I managed to spend more time asleep than I have done just recently.

That’s not to say that I didn’t go on any travels during the night. In fact, quite the reverse. We were at school last night. My brother had been summoned before the headmaster for something so he actually left at about 08:30 and was playing for another team early on. We had to be back by 10:00 so at 09:45 I went over to the door to meet him. he came out with a group of other people, one of whom was someone from the radio. We all started to talk a little about my brother’s issues although he looked extremely happy just then when he came out. Then something and I don’t know what reminded me that I had to do something with the green folder and send it off to another house at school to have a listen before I could go ahead with the radio programme.

Later on I had Caliburn except that it wasn’t Caliburn but my red Cortina estate, loaded up with all my stuff for moving house like I did when I was moving from the UK to Brussels. I had to go somewhere for a few days so I parked it up in the street in Underwood Lane near where I lived. On my way back we went to a house to pick up some shovels and spades. It was 04:00. A woman came out and I thought that she looked familiar. It turned out that she’d been the person who had bought one of my houses somewhere else. It was her but she’d since moved and bought another house. She was telling me that I now have a house down there as well. We collected everything and went into the street but we couldn’t see Caliburn anywhere. We walked up and down that street 3 or 4 times and there was no trace of him. We were thinking about which scrapyards to ring up, all of this kind of thing but there was still no trace

Later still on I was back in the hospital and I couldn’t find a shovel that I’d use to dig a grave. I pointed to that fellow but he didn’t see us so I thought that I’d stick my 2 bodies into 1 grave. I needed to enlarge the grave. There was a fight going on between fishermen, farmers and the French police. I thought that now there wasn’t very much attraction so I’ll stop where I am because someone was after the issue fee “I see Eric” but I didn’t know my name and I wanted everything cleared up. And what that was all about I have no idea.

Finally we’d been up in the High Arctic as far as Grize Fiord and even further. We’d been in this town watching the aeroplanes come in to land and then all set off back home again. I had this old double-decker bus that we were driving, heading up the A5 from London. My car was in front and for some unknown reason it was driving on its own, driving really recklessly and I was convinced that there was going to be an accident with this. All of a sudden it did a turn right across several carriageways and pulled up against the kerb. I stopped the bus and went round to see what was going on. My brother was there so I asked him why he did that strange manoeuvre. He pointed to this shop selling clothes. I stuck my head in but couldn’t see anything exciting. While he was there I said to the people on board the bus “let me have my stuff and I can load my car ready to go”. I took a few bits and pieces out but someone on the top deck picked up my big sports bag and dropped it over the top straight into the boor of the car. It went in with an Enormous crash. I said that I hoped that there was nothing breakable in there, like my portable computer. Then I had a look at the bus. All the time that it had spent in the High Arctic had taken its toll and it was as rusty as hell, rusting everywhere as f it had just happened overnight. Even the sides of the bus were rusty and you could see the name of the previous owner, “Lena Tours” because of how the bodywork had rusted. I wondered how we were able to drive this without the police stopping us and taking a look.

And why does my brother keep on showing up in my voyages? Why can’t it be someone like Zero or Castor or TOTGA?

Anyway, leaving my bed at 09:00 was not very easy this morning but it had to be done and I staggered into the dining are for my medication. I checked my mails and messages, made a quick breakfast and went for my Welsh lesson – all 5 hours of it.

The time passed quite quickly too, and the one hour for lunch passed even quicker because I seem once more to have run out of pizza dough so I made to make a hurried batch. And it didn’t turn out too badly either, all things considered.

We had plenty of fun in our lessons today and I hope that I remember everything that we learnt. Some of it wasn’t familiar at all so I imagine that it’s South Walian and that will lead to a few complications when we’re back in our normal class on Tuesday after the weekend school.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As soon as the lesson finished I grabbed the camera and finally made it outside.

Having seen the compound across the car park I went down to the wall at the end of the car park here to see what was happening on the beach.

There were actually two people down there, which was a surprise. The weather might have moderated somewhat after the wind of the last couple of days but it was still really cold and not the kind of weather that I would have chosen to be down there.

But there’s no accounting for taste.

outdoor tidal swimming pool donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further on along the beach towards Donville-les-Bains there was something strange in the water.

My first thought was that it was an ancient wreck uncovered by the storm, something that is a regular occurrence in many parts of the world.

However it seems to be the tidal swimming pool down there at Donville. I didn’t recognise it because I don’t think that I’ve seen it more than a couple of times in all the time that I’ve lived here.

There must be some kind of optical illusion or trick of the light that has made it so visible this afternoon.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Having inspected the work down at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I headed off along the path at the foot of the city walls, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been down here.

A little earlier I’d already seen the tidal swimming pool at Donviille-les-Bains so I was interested to see the one at the Plat Gousset here to see if it had survived the storm.

It seems to have managed okay but there’s some kind of turbulence going on at the back og the pool so I wonder what that is all about.

Perhaps they’ve caught the Loch Ness Monster. I didn’t realise that the storm had been that intense.

generator building equipment Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another feature that occurs quite regularly on these pages is the state of the Square Maurice Marland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, they spent quite a while on repairing the place a few years ago and since then it’s been left todecay, something that seems to have happened a lot more rapidly that I had tought.

While I was there today though, I noticed that a pile of equipment has arrived here, includiing what looks like a diesel generator in a soundproof box. So maybe things are going to start moving again.

building equipment Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And a little further on, I can see that they already have.

The part where the children’s entertainments used to be is now cordoned off and they have a strange tracked machine just there. That certainly looks as if it means business.

Much of the surrounding area has been sheeted over too and there’s some building material stacked up too. This is looking as if it’s going to be quite interesting and I’ll be back here more often than I am at the moment to check on things.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Leaving the Square Maurice Marland I headed off towards the Rue St Michel to see how things were unfoding there.

It was difficult to see anything from down at the bottom end the other day because of all of the machinery, so this afternoon I came up via the alley at the top

From this angle it’s quite clear that they’ve scraped away the old horrible surface and that does actually look deep enough to lay some cobbles. But having been disappointed in the past by this kind of thing, we’ll have to see what happens.

And then wonder how long it will be before they dig it up again.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021From the end of the Rue st Michel I walked onto the city walls.

It’s going quite dark quite quickly now and I just about caught the last few rays of sun as the reflected up and through a couple of small holes in this really thick cloud cover.

That was the cue for me to head home. No coffee tonight as I’m pretty-much coffeed out after all that I’ve drunk today. I rolled out my pizza and then went to pair off my music instead, although I won’t be preparing a programme tomorrow as I’m having Caliburn’s windscreen fixed.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021When I’d finished that I went to have a play with my pizza.

When it was assembled it went into the oven for 35 minutes and I was ready for it when it was finally cooked. It was quite delicious too.

having finished everything in what was a really hectic day, I’m ready for bed. I have an early start because I need a shower and a shave before I take Caliburn off. If I have to pretty myself up, that’s going to take more time than I can spare.

Wednesday 6th October 2021 – I NOTICED …

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… something very interesting this afternoon when I went out for my afternoon walk.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we are keeping a lose eye on the repairing of the medieval city walls round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux, but I don’t think that I would have missed this.

Either they are intending to do a very throrough job of it or else they have had a calamity, because part of the wall down at the base looks as if it has collapsed and has left a gaping hole.

This is going to cause someone some rather difficult problems.

children's amusements Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021What else is going to be causeing someone else some severe problems is whatever is going on in the Square Maurice Marland.

When we had the previous Maire there was an anonymous blog (not one of mine, I hasten to add) doing the rounds criticising her for the state of the Square here

She wasn’t re-elected, which was probably the aim of the blog, but since we have had the new incumbent, not only has the Square deteriorated further, most of the kiddies’ amusements that were fenced off from use a few weeks ago have now been removed completely.

So there have certainly been several changes under the new Maire, but I wonder what our anonymous blogger is making of them all.

Last night I went to bed early with the intention of having a really decent sleep right the way through until 07:30, but as you might expect, that never happened.

I was tossing and turning for much of the night and having a couple of these severe night sweats that I need to record. And there were nocturnal voyages a-plenty too.

I started off by going on holiday with Nerina. We were going somewhere down to the south coast and we boarded a plane, one of these small 24-seater things. It took off and we were there in the queue talking about preparing to leave etc. The planes in this queue were going out one by one. Then we took off and ended up flying north from Crewe doing a big circle round over where Wardle Airfield is. I pointed out where my grandparents used to live (and they did, too). I asked her if she had ever met them. She said not, that Wardle didn’t ring any bells with her at all. She asked about a couple of buildings that were there, weren’t they something to do with the Women’s Institute? I replied that they were the original buildings from the airfield.

Later on, I can’t remember how it went but Nerina was living with someone else in squalid circumstances worse than ever I lived in the Auvergne. She had a few people round and was bottling some kind of milky drink so I gave her a hand and ended up bottling a banana smoothie for someone. I had to fill it with water. In the meantime she was inside the house talking to Claude and his wife, whatever her name was. I didn’t really want to go in to see them so I kept outside but I could hear the conversation. In the end something drew me in so I went in. They were both still in bed. They were also living in poor circumstances, not as poor as Nerina. She was getting on really well with them and I was just exchanging pleasantries, if you like, trying not to get too involved.

There was also something about me and a brand-new house that I’d owned somewhere, a 2-bedroomed house. The bedrooms were really small but I can’t remember anything particular about that.

Finally, I’d been out somewhere and not come back until late. I had to go into work so I’d gone to bed. It was my house in Winsford but that new house that I mentioned. Then I had to go out again to see Hans. He was talking about something. I explained that I’d only got in at 06:00 but I had to go to work so I wasn’t doing anything. I drove back home thinking that I was going to have another day off but then I thought that my time records were in such a state that I couldn’t do that kind of thing. It was another one of these “thinking about retiring from work” dreams that occur regularly.

On the way back from Hans’s house I was walking down the road at the back of Wardle Airfield towards my house. For some reason I couldn’t keep my feet and kept on falling over. A guy came out of a side road in a car, the guy who had the farm at the back of me at Les Guis, He asked me If I’d received his package but I couldn’t understand what he meant so I saif that I would check. I ended up back at my house and Claude and his wife were there. he handed me a package and I opened it. It was full of old tools so I had to think what these were. He said “that’s a good deal that you got for that battery”. I suddenly realised that Claude had given me a battery and I’d given it to that farmer, so I’ll go through these tools later and give a few of them to Claude that he might need.

This is a total of four or five different voyages, and not only were they so real that I was totally convinced that they were happening, I seemed to have been stepping in and out of dreams at various points and stepping right back into them round about where I left off, not once, but several times.

And then, of course, we have the recurring dream about me being in a mess at work and so planning to resign.

It’s all very eerie, this.

So after the medication, checking my messages and mails and the like, much of the day has been spent dealing with the radio project that I have in hand.

There is a huge pile of notes that I’ve written for distribution, I’ve spent some time on the phone with the co-ordinator and I’ve also been sending mails and making telephone calls to contacts.

What happens from here on is anyone’s guess but several people at the radio seem to be quite enthusiastic, and quite well-placed to push things forward.

We had the usual breaks – coffee, breakfast, lunch, and then the afternoon walk of course.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021You’re probably wondering why the photo of the beach looks different today from how it has been over the last few weeks.

You’ve probably guessed from the photos at the beginning that I haven’t gone around the headland this afternoon. Instead, I’m walking around the walls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on Monday we saw several things that seemed to be going on within the walls that piqued our interest and I mentioned that I would go round one day and check up.

peche a pied beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021In fact there were quite a few people down there on the beach this afternoon

The weather was quite nice and we’re getting to the stage of having some really low tides right now, so most of the people down there in this photo and in the previous one seemed to be engaged in the pêche à pied, scavenging about amongst the rocks for shellfish.

And it looks as if the two people in this photo have made quite a substantial haul. There are limits to what one can take away from the beach, and I bet that they can’t be far off it.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2110/21100044.html”>fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There’s other fishing going on down there too.

As usual I was having a good look around out at sea and although there were none of the trawlers (or any other type of boat) out there in the bay this afternoon, there were two fishing boats way out off the headland.

Luckily the sea is quite a lot calmer than it was yesterday so they can have a better working day today. I really felt sorry for those in peril on the sea yesterday in that storm.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The most interesting (from my point of vies) part of the walk around the walls is the repair work that’s going on here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They’ve had this scaffolding – this magnificent work of art – up here for a few weeks now and they are slowly advancing up the hill, making good progress with the pointing as they do so.

But having seen the wind that we had yesterday, you can understand why they have it weighted down with 5 tonnes of water. It wouldn’t mast very long in the winds that we have without something to hold it down, and 5 pallet tanks fulll of water is a good place to start.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The last time that we looked over the wall, we saw them working about 6 or 8 feet below the top of the wall.

Today, we can see that they have practically worked their way up to the top at this end, and doubtlessly they’ll be working their way downhill to the end as time goes on.

It was round here that I was overwhelmed by a horde of brats.

There’s no school on Wednesday afternoons but there are plenty of activities for children whose parents have to work.

A bunch of 4 girls aged about 9-11 came swarming around me asking me if I’d noticed something. It turns out that they are one team of orienteers who were having a competition this afternoon around the old town, and were looking for a marker.

It’s a little-known fact that when I was 16 or 17, I competed in the North-West Schools orienteering championships, so I had a little chat with the kids for a minute or two.

Believe it or not, I actually like children round about that age. I think that they get a very raw deal from adults and have a lot to say for themselves, if only someone would listen to them.

There was also someone from the tourist board taking photos, and we had a little chat as well.

peche a pied medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021From the Place du Marché aux Chevaus I went along the path underneath the walls.

Once more, plenty of people on the beach, including all those round by the Plat Gouseet in the medieval fish trap hunting for shellfish buried in the sand.

That’s not really the purpose of the fish trap. In medieval times, and even today if someone were to bother to maintain it correctly, it would retain water after the tide has done out, and which would slowly filter out between the gaps in the rocks.

This would leave a supply of fish behind, trapped by the stone walls, and the average medieval fishwife would wade in there and pull them out with her bare hands.

repair work plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The Plat Gousset has now been cleared of beach huts, as I mentioned last time.

And that’s probably just as well after the storms that we’ve just had. Instead of lifting them up with a crane, they could have moved them with a brush and shovel.

But there’s some kind of repair work going on down there at that blue and white building. I wonder if that’s anything to do with the storms that we have just had.

It actually looks quite peaceful and pleasant down there this afternoon. I bet that it wasn’t like that just now.

Anyway, I cleared off down the Square Maurice Marland, looking at the state (or otherwise) of the kiddies’ amusements as I passed.

tubes and pipes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I had a good peer to see what was going on.

Regular readers of this rubbish will remember that yesterday, they hard started to put into the water the tubes that had been on the quayside for a week or two.

Today, by the looks of things, they seem to have put in all of them that I could see. It’s all looking very interesting and so I wonder what the next step is going to be.

And, furthermore, is the dredger that is in the chantier naval going to be playing any part in it all?

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was there, I had a look at the quayside underneath the crane to see what was happening there.

Those galvanised sheets are still on the quayside, and they have now been joined by a few of these sacks of builders’ materials.

This would seem to indicate that we are going to be having one of the Jersey freighters in very soon.

And I’ll be surprised if it’s Normandy Trader because at the last update that I had, the skipper and his mate were somewhere between Lands End and John O’Groats on their bikes.

That reminds me of the famous record-breaking woman cyclist Br Barbara Moore who would either walk or cycle between Lands End and John O’Groats as the fancy took her.

On one occasion, having completed one of her rides, she was asked by a commentator what she planned to do next. She replied, in her thick Eastern European accent I vill strip – and overhaul my bicycle.

digging a trench rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021What has actually brought us to this neck of the woods is the sign that we saw on Monday telling us that the Rue Cambernon is closed to traffic.

That’s the kind of thing that needs to be checked so I wandered round that way, and sure enough, they are digging a trench down the side of the street.

That’s something that is totally bewildering me because only about a year or so ago, or maybe even less, they dug it up to do something else. That’s pretty bad planning if they are now having to dig it up for something else so soon afterwards.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that’s not the best of it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the winter (or what passes for winter around here) they’d dug up the Rue St Michel and replaced a pile of pipework, then relayed the street – in asphalt rather than cobbles, to my eternal dismay.

But now it seems that they will be coming back, as all of the hieroglyphics are back on the road surface.

Blue is for water, of course, but I’ve no idea which other colour represents anything else.

They aren’t doing too well with their planning, are they?

abandoned american car place du parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Round by the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, the American car from Connecticut is still here.

We first came across it on our return from North America 2 years ago, and it’s still here now, not having moved an inch since then.

Someone has liberated the front number-plate over time but the rear is still there.

Around the corner I was swept up in a swarm of people coming out of the church after a funeral and I had to fight my way through the mob in order to reach home.

After my coffee I carried on with my notes for my radio project, and even found time to update a couple of entries from the end of August by inserting the details of my nocturnal voyages in them.

And then I went for tea.

There was a couple of mushrooms looking sorry for themselves and 2 small potatoes that had seen better days so I heaved a small tin of chick peas in and made myself a quick curry. And it was delicious too.

So now I’m hoping for another early night, hopefully on through which I can sleep undisturbed. It’s high time I had a really good night’s sleep.

But at least – lying-in until 07:30 instead of rising at 06:00 means that crashing out during the day is only happening rarely these days. I’ve been wondering whether I should set the alarm to 07:00. What would happen then?

Sunday 11th July 2021 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today, and I don’t know why that is.

Well, I do, but it’s something that I don’t care to talk about on here and involves a trip down Memory Lane to places that I’ve been trying to forget.

But I would ordinarily say that I don’t know what’s brought it on, but actually I do – I just don’t know why it’s caught me unawares like this.

It’s one of those things that always seems to hit us when we are at our most vulnerable so I’ll need to have a good night’s sleep and in the words of the boxer Jack Johnson, “Eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts”.

This morning after my walk around the upper town at midnight (and about which I haven’t forgotten the photos, by the way) I was to my surprise awake at 07:00. But badger that for a game of cowboys. 09:30 was too early too but 10:45 is much more respectable for a Sunday.

After the medication I came in here again to listen to the dictaphone. At first there was something going on in a big old rambling house full of kids last night but I can’t remember what it was now. And waking up with an attack of cramp and when was the last time that I did that as well? I thought that some of this medication was supposed to stop that.

So having had some kind of meeting (when did this take place?) with a Greek girl with whom I was very friendly in Brussels who put in an appearance I was off in some medieval city somewhere in medieval times. There was some kind of difficulty that I can’t remember now but a man became involved in it who was a so-called spy and he helped me resolve this difficulty. In the end he stood on this bridge of this canal with his hand behind his back hiding a gun these 6 people road up asking for information. He replied “sorry, I don’t have one”. They replied something like “how is it possible to be in this country without an identity card?”. At that moment, from behind his back he pulled out a gun. He made them all drop their guns. Somehow at this point he became me. I ordered 5 of those people away and the 6th guy I mounted on a camel and told him to set out to such-a-place and I’d follow him. On the way out there was a barge going past on the canal so I stopped to take a photo of it. We had another one of these sessions when the NIKON 1 J5 wouldn’t work. All the time this guy was getting further ahead of me as I was trying to take this photo. In the end I said “sod it” and chased after this guy on the camel. Then I got to thinking “how stupid am I? I made those people drop their guns in the street and walk away. Why didn’t I throw them over into the canal? All they need to do now is to wait until I’m out of sight, pick up their guns and come along and chase after me. At least had I thrown their guns into the canal they might have chased after me but they couldn’t have done very much without any weapons”.

There was also something somewhere about me being with a few people and the subject of dreams came up. I was told to go and see a woman with whom by some lucky chance I’d just been talking because she was very keen on the subject. I wish I knew where she’d gone so I could chase after her. I explained to the people with whom I was talking that I’d been following my dreams for nearly 30 years.

So at least I managed to go off somewhere at some point.

One task that I wanted to do was to to pair off the music for the next radio programme and find a suitable chat line for my guest. That was all done and organised and took me nicely up to lunchtime.

Before I could make my lunch though I needed to make some bread mix. Only for a small loaf though because I’m going to be away for a while next week and there’s not much room right now in the freezer.

Talking of the freezer… “well, one of us is” – ed … I also took out the last pile of dough from the freezer so that it could defrost ready for tonight.

After lunch I came back in here and the first thing that I did was to sort out the camera equipment. I have three cameras on the go – the NIKON D500 which is the main one, the little NIKON 1 J5 that I use when weight and/or privacy and discretion are czlled for, and the old NIKON D3000 that I bought ON QUECEC IN 2012 after I had broken the Nikon D5000 and which keeps on rolling along.

Each camera now has its own bag with all of its own accessories inside it and surprisingly, I bought a brand-new upmarket camera bag last year. The D3000 has found its way into that and the D5000 is in the bag that the D5000 used to occupy and which I’ve had for ages.

The J5 is in an even older camera bag that belonged to one of the older 1st-generation digital cameras that I had and which packed up nearly 20 years ago.

One of these days I’ll have to go through the redundant camera equipment, sell it off and use the money to repair the D5000.

With time to spare I sat down to deal with the photos from last night. They are all uploaded, edited and some of the text was written. But my afternoon walk intervened.

Before I went on my walk though I kneaded the bread mix, added the sunflower seeds and put it in the bread mould.

full car park place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe crowds outside this afternoon were unbearable. You couldn’t move for people and cars. It was not very pleasant at all.

You can see what I mean from this photo. The public car park just outside this building is bursting at the seams and if you look quite closely at the photo you’ll see the crowds of people milling around there today.

In fact, while you are looking closely, you’ll see a group of several people standing together just to the right of centre on this photo, looking over the wall there. That’s my usual spec for when I’m taking photos of the beach if I’m going off around the headland on my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going round that way this afternoon. I’m going off on a trek around the city walls.

That means I’m having to look down onto the beach from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord so the view is rather different than usual.

The tide is well out so there is plenty of beach to be on, and there were plenty of people on it this afternoon taking advantage of the space.

And I’m not sure why because while the conditions weren’t Arctic today the sky was quite overcast and it was cool (if not cold) for the time of the year and there was plenty of wind about. It’s not the kind of day in which you’d catch me sunbathing o the beach, that’s for sure.

people fishing in rock pool beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, I might be down on the beach for other reasons, rather like this family here.

The retreating tide has left several large rockpools behind it, so while daddy supervises the operation, mummy and the two kiddiewinks have taken off their socks and shoes and, in one case, trousers, and they are scavenging around in the rock pools for whatever they can find.

Which I hope they will remember to share with their friends because, after all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

And as for paddling up to my knees, I’ve done that twice now in water that was much colder than this – AT ETAH IN GREENLAND just 700 miles from the North Pole and the second time in the North West Passage in the Canadian High Arctic, about which I’ll write when I can think of what i’m going to say that will express how I felt on that day with the events that were goign on all around me, without causing too many problems.

But meanwhile, trying to dig myself out of the Black Pit into which i’ve fallen, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here and ask why there are all these people wandering around this afternoon.

people at brocants rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe answer to that is that it’s the annual brocante or car boot sale in the old town, and that always attracts the crowds, which is not a good thing from my point of view.

Not 50 yards from where those people are, and they must have walked past that spot to be where they are is a sign “face masks mandatory”, and yet there are so many people who just couldn’t care less.

Having brought the figures down from over 20,000 per day to just a thousand or so, it can’t give anyone any pleasure to see the infection rate rising again so rapidly and yet people totally disregarding even the most basic of rules because they just don’t feel like it.

But anyway, that’s enough of me moaning and whining for the moment. Let’s return to my afternoon walk around the walls

medieval city wall crumbling place du marche au cheveaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the main reasons that I came around this way was to see what they were up to with that scaffolding the other day, but I wasn’t quick enough with the scaffolding and it’s now gone.

But we can see just so clearly now exactly what is the problem with the city walls at the Place du Marché au Chevaux. You can see the vertical crack in the brickwork right there and it’s not before time that they are going to be dealing with it.

It does in fact remind me of the rather nasty crack that appeared on the outside wall of 10 Downing Street but Carrie called in builders to cement over it before Boris Johnson could read it.

And I still haven’t worked out what that wooden structure is that they have built on top of the wall and what its purpose is supposed to be. I suppose that it will become clear over the next few days, but I remember saying that a few days ago.

cement mixer workmen's cabin place du marché au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo the obvious question is “what are they going to be doing with the walls?”

Here in the little compound we have what looks like a couple of workmen’s huts but also a cement mixer and tubs full of something or other, so it looks as if they are going to be making a start some time soon on repointing. But I think that it needs a bit more than repointing, if you ask me.

And if you look above the nearest workmen’s hut, you’ll see a map. It tells us of work that they have done in the past in restoring the walls, and what they will be doing this year here in the Place du Marché auc Chevaux.

And I wish that it would tell us what they are going to be doing subsequently because sections of the old medieval walls are being closed off quicker than they can repair them.

It was round here that I fell in with a family – mum, dad, a girl about 12 or so and a grandfather. They were not from round here and were struggling to make out a few of the local landmarks. Jersey was really clear to me today so I pointed it out to them, as well as the Ile de Chausey and even the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel which was perfectly clear with the naked eye today.

bouchot beds donville les bains medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was talking to them, I noticed that the bouchot beds at Donville les Bains were quite visible today too with the tide being so far out.

The tractors were taking advantage of the low tide this afternoon and were out there doing the harvesting.

The medieval fish trap had some water still in it too although no-one was taking advantage of it. I’d love to see it restored and people in there catching their own supper with their own bare hands just like they did in the Middle Ages.

After all, there were enough people down there to have had a good go and made a good catch this afternoon had the fish trap been working properly.

f-gcum Robin DR 400/180 Regent baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was doing that, I was overflwon by a light aeroplane. I mean – we have to have one of those, don’t we, on a day like that?

She’s another one of our old friends, F-GCUM, the Robin DR 400/180 Regent that’s owned by the Granville Aero Club.

And she’s been out for a nice long flight this afternoon. She took off at 13:38 and did a nice figure-of-8 going gown to Avranches then across to Cap Fréhel, back to Granville, over Coutances, up to Barneville Carteret and then back home.

She disappeared off the radar at 15:58 presumably when she went into her landing approach and I saw her about 15 minutes later so it must have been a long, shallow dive into landing.

crowds avenue de la liberation place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think, by the way that everyone is here who is coming here and that the crowds will slowly die away, then look again at this lot.

There’s a whole stream of cars coming down the hill nose to tail in the Avenue de la Liberation. And good luck to them if they can find somewhere to park when they finally get to where they are going.

It’s a Sunday of course and the public transport doesn’t run on a Sunday. Perhaps the local council needs to think about that in the summer when there are all of these events and organise a “Park and Ride” on the LeClerc Car Park

Plenty of people too in the Place Marechal Foch and walking along the promenade at the Plat Gousset too. And the ice cream parlour looks as if it’s doing a roaring trade.

seagulls rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, seeing as I’m here now, I have to go and see how my baby seagulls are doing.

So off I took myself into the Square Maurice Marland, past a couple of little girls playing hopscotch, and up to the place where I can see onto the roofs of the Rue des Juifs where their parents have their nests.

Two of my seagull chicks weren’t up to very much, just curled up in the nest having a relaxing afternoon but the third one here was a little more energetic and he was off for a wander around on the roof.

And I hope that he doesn’t fall off like a couple of his friends seem to have done over the last week or two.

seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually I was watching this particular energetic one for quite a while.

When I first saw him he was flapping his wings like Billio and I thought that he was going to have a go at taking off, but animals, like children, are very contrary and never do what you want or what you expect. Having got myself into a good position, he did nothing at all.

You can tell by the times of the images. 4 minutes after I took up my position he decided to inspect himself for fleas and that was about the limit of his activity while I was watching.

In the end I became fed up before he did and I cleared off, upon which I imagined him immediately taking off, doing a few loop-the loops and Immelmann turns

people in brocante rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square I walked through the alleyway into the Rue Notre Dame where it was all happening.

And the first thing that I noticed was the lack of face masks despite the notices plastered everywhere. And I know that I go on about this quite a lot but 4,000,000 dead and God alone knows how many people’s health permanently damaged, endless queues in hospitals, routine work cancelled (remember, I went 9 months without my four-weekly cancer treatment) just because people can’t be bothered to take the most basic precautions.

But anyway, even though I remembered to bring my money, I didn’t even look at what was on offer. I have seen the prices in the past and that’s been enough for me. Not even the chip van could tempt me this year.

people place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrowds of people in the Place Cambernon too, mainly at the bar down the far end.

However I didn’t go that way, I carried on around the church and at the edge of the walls overlooking the port I fell in with one of my neighbours chatting to a couple at the nice house with the nice round turret.

We had quite a pleasant chat for 10 minutes or so but then I set off for home as I had work to do.

autogyros pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I hadn’t gone very far before I was brought to yet another halt.

On my way along the street I’d heard a rattling from the air and I’d wondered what it was. But suddenly in a gap between two houses, two of these autogyros came flying past in formation.

Two-seater autogyros too so they were obviously up to something, like a photo shoot or a film shoot. And one of these days I’ll have to get myself up there in one of those things for a photo shoot.

But not right now. Ad I said earlier, I have things to do this afternoon. Like kneading the pizza dough that had now defrosted, rolling it out and putting it on the pizza dish that I had greased.

When everything was ready I switched on the oven and bunged the bread in to bake, and when the pizza dough had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen the bread was baked I put the pizza in and let that bake, and here are the finished products.

Only a small loaf as I mentioned earlier, and I’ll tell you about that in a day or two, but the pizza was delicious as usual.

No pudding because there is still some chocolate sponge left and in any case, I’m pretty full right now.

And now my notes are finished I’m off to bed. I’ll sleep off my depression and have a better day tomorrow. And if I have time, I’ll finish off those photos from last night and post them up.

We’ll see how I get on.

Wednesday 30th June 2021 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon while I was out for my walk.

Instead of going round the headland I went on the path around the medieval city walls to see how they were getting on with some of the repairs that they have been doing to various things in the old town, but instead I ended up being buzzed by a squadron of Nazgul

They take off and land at the field next door to the cemetery which I always think is good planning because they won’t have far to go if they have an unfortunate accident, and then follow the clifftop along almost to the lighthouse and then fly back to where they started.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat is, always assuming that they can gain enough height to do so.

Some of the bird-men find it easier to do than others. This guy is struggling to find the air currents that will pull him up. Instead, he’s struggling along well below my eye level and well below the top of the cliff and not doing too well about it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw one of the birdmen come to grief the other day at the lighthouse and he’s not the first either. Someone else was seriously injured last year, and I never did find out whether he recovered from his accident.

But our intrepid birdman did in fact find a current of air in the end and lifted himself off into the ether over my head.

And I must have found a good current of air to lift me out of bed this morning because I leapt out of bed with an extraordinary burst of energy as soon as the alarm went off. And considering how exhausted I was last night, that must have been pretty close to a miracle.

After the medication I came back in here and finished off last night’s journal entry. There wasn’t much to do but I did it anyway. And following that I carried on with the photos from August 2019. and right now I’m on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR pulling into the harbour at Sisimut, Greenland.

Yes, I really managed to crack on this morning and deal with a nice bundle of them. I even managed to find a photo that I took of THE AURORA BOREALIS in Kangerlussuak Fjord

There was a pause for a coffee break and later for breakfast, and then I had another task to carry out. My little niece Amber graduated from High School in Canada last week and she had sent me a video of THE GRADUATION PARADE AND VALDICTORY SPEECHES.

Being as busy as I am I’d not had an opportunity to see it and so with my hot chocolate and fruit bread, and then with the acoustic guitar I watched the video. And I had to laugh as well. You can tell that it’s New Brunswick. They held the parade in the Tractor-Pulling Stadium

That all took me right up to lunchtime when I had some more of my very nice fresh bread.

After lunch I went to revise my Welsh but once more, ended up crashing out on the chair for half an hour or so. I didn’t realise that Welsh had this effect on me. It’s all becoming quite embarrassing. But anyway that took me up to walkies time and I would have gone out earlier had we not had another power cut. And this time it wasn’t any fuse in my apartment and it came back on after a couple of minutes without any help from me.

trans-shipping rubble porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo schoolgirl loitering outside the door this afternoon again so I could push off into the wild blue yonder. But only a little way because there was something going on right at the back of my apartment at the Porte St Jean.

One of the problems of living within the confines of a medieval walled city is that large lorries and delivery vehicles can’t make their way in so there has to be some form of trans-shipment. In this case, this little pickup is bringing builders’ rubble from within the walls and it’s being scooped up into the back of the larger lorry for disposal.

And while I was passing I had a look at the rubble that they were taking away. And there were several granite setts in there that had presumably at one time been part of the road surface. Throwing those away is really sad if you ask me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallnext stop of course was to go and look down on the beach and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

And you’re probably noticed that we have a different perspective for the view today. That’s because we are going for our walk around the city walls rather than the headland so instead of being in the car park I’m at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

This afternoon there are plenty of people down on the beach enjoying the nice weather. And even a young kid running out of the sea as if she’s just been in for a quick splash round. And if I’d been in the sea I’d be running out pretty quickly too and no mistake.

scaffolding wooden structure workmen's hut place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that has been the subject of much comment and discussion in these pages just recently has been the state of the medieval city walls.

Some more were closed off a week or so back here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and then a couple of days ago a kind-of workmen’s hut appeared, along with a strange wooden structure that was fastened to the walls.

This afternoon I found a spec on the other side so I could have a look at the outside of the walls to see if I could see to what this wooden structure relates. But it’s not evident at all. But at least you can see the trailer that looks as if it might be a workmen’s hut.

Something else that we can see from this viewpoint is some scaffolding. I haven’t seen that down there before, but I wouldn’t like to insist that it’s only just arrived. I just don’t remember seeing it before.

But I wonder if all of this really does mean that we might actually be seeing some work being done on the walls in the near future in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

lifeguards tidal swimming pool beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA flash of flourescent yellow caught my eye down at the Plat Gousset so seeing as the path underneath the wall was reasonably dry this afternoon, I went that way to have a look.

Being buzzed by a variety of Nazgul on my way along the path I eventually arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the beach, and I could see that I was right. The holiday season is now in full swing and we have a couple of lifeguards on duty in their flourescent yellow jackets.

There is one standing at the water’s edge keeping an eye on the bathers in the sea (and take my word for it – there were a few of those this afternoon) and the other one is supervising events taking place in the tidal swimming pool that still has its water in it. And there were a couple of people in there too.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out of the wind I bet that it was really nice and cosy if you could catch a few rays of the sun.

Round by the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset we could see the people on the beach. Not exactly the height of summer (which is due to start this weekend of course) but still plenty of reason to be on the beach, especially as it’s half-dayat the schools and the brats have the afternoon off on a Wednesday, as we can tell from this photo.

And the other day I showed you a photo of a couple of girls sitting on the wall overlooking the beach, and I surmised that it must be quite a comfortable spec. And that’s what it must be because there were more girls sitting on the wall this afternoon.

f-gsbv ROBIN DR 400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the path underneath the walls I was overflown yet again, only this time not by one of the Bird-men of Alcatraz but by an aeroplane.

Even though it’s quite far out in the Baie de Granville I can actually identify it from here. She’s F-GSBY, one of the aeroplanes that we see on a regular basis. She’s a Robin DR400-180 and is owned by the Granville Aero-Club where she’s used for either advanced flying training or for hire.

According to my radar she took off at 16:55, flew down to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then flew back to the airport where she landed at 17:21. And as my photo is times at 16:15 (it’s set to real time, not summertime) that looks as if it’s correct.

And I haven’t forgotten that I must make suitable enquiries at the airport about the navigation school

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of flying … “well, one of us is” – ed … there are other flying objects that need our attention.

So with that in mind I pushed on round to the Square Maurice Marland to have a look out onto the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs to see how our baby seagull chicks are doing.

And they look as if they are doing quite well too. There are three of them on that roof over there and they have grown quite a lot this last couple of weeks. One of them was flapping his wings quite vigorously and so I don’t think that it’ll be too long before he’s ready to take to the air.

But the Square is still a mess and it’s quite annoying. Sumer is here and some of the kiddies’ entertainments have been taken away and the rest are fenced off and overgrown. This is not the way to run a holiday resort.

boat on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw a huge pile of merchandise stacked up on the quayside ready to be taken away by one of the Jersey freighters.

Word on the streets is that Normandy Trader came in for a quick “in and out” early this morning on her way back from St Malo and it looks as if she’s cleared almost all of the load. The boat wrapped in shrink-wrap is still there so either Normandy Trader was full or else that’s a load for Thora.

What’s intriguing me though is the appearance of the garden shed over there. If it is a product for export, I’d expect it to be flat-packed to save on loading space. But it could be for a small office for either one of the boats or else for a customs or police presence (but why wouldn’t they be in the police station across the road?). We shall have to see.

resurfacing venelle st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt te start of the afternoon we saw the trans-shipment going on with the rubbish and a few of the granite setts.

What they seem to be doing now is trying to resurface the Venelle St Michel with granite setts in certain places and judging by the excavations, in other places too. It’s probably from here that the rubbish and the granite setts were discarded and I don’t understand at all the idea of disposing of those.

But I’m still dismayed by the surface of the Rue St Michel and its stone-chips. They could, and should, have done so much better than that.

There were some people in the back garden of a house here having a party, with a tabby-cat sitting on the wall. It let me stroke it, which surprised the people in the garden. But I left them to it and came on home for a coffee and to do some work on my boat trip on the Spirit of Conrad last year.

The practice on the bass went well and then I went for tea – burger on a bap followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now, tired as I am, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’m shopping and I want to carry on with my Spirit of Conrad stuff as well as do some more photos from Greenland. High time that they were all done and dusted.

Sunday 27th June 2021 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today that I haven’t done for absolutely ages. And that is that I’ve been out for an evening walk. And I’ve even seen the sun go down on the Ile de Chausey for the first time since I don’t know when.

Mind you, there’s a good reason for that. When I went out for my usual afternoon walk today the rain was so heavy that the noise was deafening. According to a storm warning that we received round about lunch-time, the amount of rain that was planned to fall during the afternoon would be the equivalent of three weeks’ worth of rain.

And anyone who has seen the amount of rain that we have had this last three weeks will know that a pasting was on its way.

Something else that I’ve done today that I haven’t done for ages is to awaken to the sound of the alarm on a Sunday at 06:00. And if I ever understand what made me forget myself so much to have set an alarm for this morning , I’ll let you know because it’s certainly something that I didn’t intend to do.

Furthermore it interrupted me right in the middle of an exciting voyage too. I’d gone round to a girl’s house. It was in some kind of back entry I’d been walking down there. there were big houses and some girls were coming out into the back as I walked past so I walked into their yard. They were setting up a tennis game. One of them was serving a few balls that came remarkably close to me and I was very surprised. As this game developed a guy whom I used to know turned up. He started to work on a red Cortina belonging to one of these girls – the girl who had been serving these balls at me. I could see that there was some kind of chemistry between those two. He was going things like draining the oil all over the floor of the garage and he was masking up and painting some bits as well. He was asking me questions about the Capri that I had and what I’d done. I said that I’d swapped over a load of engines. he said “I thought that you were putting the yellow engine into that one”. “No” I replied. “I’ve put the red one in for now and the yellow one is going in somewhere else and when that’s done I’m going to take out this engine and rebuild it”. He was wrestling with this girl and I was getting more and more jealous and that was when the alarm went off and what the alarm was doing going off at 06:00 on a Sunday morning I really don’t know.

It took me quite a while to go back to sleep as well but eventually I dropped off. There was someone like a French friend of mine who was going to come to visit so we were tidying up the house. I was tidying one of the rooms and rearranging the furniture and some old guy who lived there came back from work. Whoever it was in charge told us all to stop and to get on and do some things but I was still looking around for any tons of mess that needed cleaning hidden behind chairs and so on. I had to go off to work – I worked in a cafe or a hotel or something so I set off to walk. There were a couple of these motorbike/moped things going past. I thought that one of them might have been my friend arriving. Anyway I ended up at an ice-skating rink and I wanted to go in. I was going to hire my skates but then I saw that I needed a towel to dry off after the shower and a few other things too. I thought rather than just help myself and leave the money on the counter I’d wait for the woman to finish what she was doing then she could come and serve me properly. She was with one of the managers and they were filling out a diary about cleaning and so on.

It was about 10:45 when I eventually managed to haul myself out of bed and go for my medication – but not before I’d checked the stuff in the slow cooker to see how it was doing.

After the medication I mixed a pile of pizza dough and then left it to rise. I then came back in here and typed out the notes on the dictaphone, the two above from today and the one from yesterday which is now on-line, and then organised some stuff that needed organising.

Lunch was porridge and toast with coffee following which I came in here and did some music stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be preparing a radio programme and the music is already chosen. This afternoon arranged it into pairs and merged the pairs together. Tomorrow I can start by writing the text.

Another thing that I’ve done is to check the specifications of my computer because it needs upgrading and I need to make sure that I buy the correct parts for it.

With the walk being abandoned I kneaded the pizza dough, divided it into 3, put two parts in the freezer and rolled out the third, putting it on the pizza tray.

While that was doing I’d tipped the stuff out of the slow cooker into the wok where the tofu was marinading, mixed it all around, brought it to the boil, added a few spoonsful of porridge oats to thicken and glutify it, and left it to simmer.

Pastry was next. I made a nice mixing of pastry, rolled out enough to make a base in a pie dish and rolled out some more to make a lid and then switched off the filling to let it cool down.

Once it had cooled down sufficiently I stuck it in the pie bottom, added the top and sealed it, and put it in the oven to bake. With the leftover pastry and the leftover filling I made a pasty-type of thing for tea tomorrow night.

vegan pizza vegan pie vegan cornish pasty place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of that was cooking I assembled my pizza and when the pie was properly baked, I swapped it over for the pizza.

When the pizza was baked too, I could sit down and have my tea. And as for the pizza, it was delicious – one of the best that I’ve ever made too. I just wish that I had remembered to turn up the heat in the oven to “full”, and then it would have been even better.

And why no pudding tonight? That’s because I’m having to bake bread on Tuesday morning and I’ll make a pudding then. Meantime, I’ll live off the apple pie that’s in the fridge.

Finally the rain stopped and I went out for my walk.

storm out at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on I mentioned that this afternoon we were in the grip of a torrential rainstorm. This had only eased off a short while ago.

And that looks like it might be the storm over there, heading off down the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula depositing the contents of the heavy raincloud onto Agon-Coutainville and into the sea just offshore.

As you can see, there’s no point in scanning the horizon for any fishing boats or anything like that this evening. Whatever is going on out there, we aren’t able to see anything because of the raincloud.

man fishing from yellow zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a craft that we have seen on many occasions in the past – always assuming of course that it’s the same boat.

It’s quite possibly the same yellow zodiac that we have seen on previous occasions in the past moving in and out of the harbour and the Baie de Mont St Michel. Today, it’s anchored in the Baie de Granville and is occupied by a man who is bent on fishing in the water just offshore. He has one rod in the water and another one upright in the back of the boat.

As I watched him for a while he didn’t manage to pull anything out of the water and eventually, pulled his rod out of the water, sat down at the controls of his boat and roared off into the sunset. Another unsuccessful fishing expedition out of the many that we have seen so far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo with him having cleared off now I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing this evening.

No walk around anywhere in Granville would be complete without looking down on the beach at the Rue du Nord to see what is going on down there this evening. Due to the later hour, I didn’t expect to see anyone sunning themselves down there, and the fact that the tide was right in meant that there wouldn’t be too much beach to actually be on.

From this photo you can see how people can descend to the beach here. Over there at the top of the image towards the right is the set of steps that descend from the Rue du Nord. The foot of the set up steps in deep in the water which shows you just how far in the tide actually is right now.

wooden structure medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we have noticed over the last while is the state of the medieval city walls and how the walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux have been fenced off to prevent people going too close to it.

What I noticed here today was that there is some kind of wooden structure that has been assembled and fastened to the wall. And I’ve no idea as to its purpose either. It doesn’t look very substantial so it can’t be anything important.

But out of shot is some kind of trailer that looks as if it might be a workman’s cabin. That’s appeared here over the last few days and so who knows? We might even be seeing something actually happening to the city walls in the near future and won’t that be a surprise?

person swimming diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something going on round by the diving platform at the Plat Gousset and so, bravely dodging the big puddles on the path underneath the medieval walls, I wandered off that way to see what it might be.

First of all though you can see how high the tide is right now. There’s a concrete pillar out there on which is a kind of diving platform that the kids use for leaping into the water wen the weather is much more clement than it is right now. And today, the diving platform is actually submerged by the tide. Only the guard rail is above the water right now.

And as for what is actually splashing around in the water by the diving platform, it’s a swimmer who seems to be enjoying himself in the water. And sooner him than me in this weather. Mind you, it’s so wet out here that I don’t suppose that it makes much difference whether you are in or out.

urban trail announcement medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s something else that has attracted out attention over the last few days.

Having seen this sign I can tell you that this “Urban Trail” and the white tapes that have sprung up all over the place relate to a couple of races that took place on Friday evening in the town. 700 runners were attracted to the town to take part in 2 races, one of 13 kilometres and the other one of 8 kilometres.

Quite a few people have used the opportunity of the lockdown to start some kind of régime of fitness and many of the runners, particularly in the 8-kilometre race, were debutants at road-racing.

man with guitar girls sitting on sea wall plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that my curiosity was satisfied I pushed on towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

There might not be a beach to sit on right now but there’s a sea wall. And with the comfortable seat and the calm sea, it’s an ideal place to sit and watch the sunset as these two young girls are doing.

But I’m not sure what the man is doing, apart from chatting to them of course. And he’s carrying a guitar as well so maybe he’s going to give them both a tune. The girl farthest away from the camera doesn’t seem to be to impressed by what is happening.

Nor me either, for that matter, I cleared off across to the Square Maurice Marland to see what was happening there.

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst of all, I have to go to see what my seagull chicks are doing on the roofs across in the Rue des Juifs.

And they seem to be coming along quite nicely. They look quite healthy and while they weren’t actually flapping their wings, they were quite active and alert, waiting for mummy to come home with supper.

As for the Square itself, I was hoping that with signs of repair taking place here and there around the town that they might have actually done something to start work on tidying up the place and restoring the kiddies’ rides ready for summer. But there looks to be no chance of that happening right now.

Another opportunity lost.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when they do eventually get round to restoring the place after all of this time, I hope that they do a far better job than they have done here. Because this is dreadful.

At one time the Rue St Michel used to be a really nice authentic cobbled street here in the centre of the old town but as we know, it’s been dug up a couple of times just recently while they have been replacing various pipes and cables.

But now they seem to have finished, they haven’t bothered to put back the cobbles at all. They have simply resurfaced the street with asphalt and how I hate to see that. It shows a total lack of imagination and lack of skill, particularly when we are talking about a historic place like the medieval walled city up here on the rock.

All of the old-time skills are dying out and I suppose that this is another one where there is no-one left with the skill to do the job correctly.

trawler l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the alleyway there’s a view over the inner harbour and at last I can identify the fishing boat that I saw yesterday.

She isn’t in fact a new one and I’m surprised that I didn’t recognise her because she is in her way quite a famous little boats. She’s L’Alize III and she was the boat that was excluded from the fishing grounds around the Channel Islands on 18th May and which led to yet another confrontation between the Channel Islands authorities and the town of Granville.

But this was enough for me. I folded up my tent and cleared off into the shadows back towards my apartment. I’m exhausted and so I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning and I’m radioing, so I need to be fit.

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that another recurring theme that runs through these pages with monotonous regularity is the shameful state of the medieval city walls here.

As you know, there was an initiate 2 years ago to restore part of them in the Rue des Juifs and they did a good job but while they were doing that, more and more of the city walls were being cordoned off as being unsafe for the general public.

more city walls closed to public place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA year or two ago they cordoned off part of the city walls in the Place du Marché Aux Chevaux and as I went past there today, they had closed off yet more of it by order of the mayor.

Much as I despise tourists … “surely not! Perish the thought!” – ed … there’s no doubt that they bring a lot of money into the town and help provide all of the activities and amenities that we have here. One of the things that they come to see is the medieval walled city, but at this rate there won’t be much of a walled city left.

The shame about this is that the Council seems to be showing not the slightest sense of urgency of dealing with this issue and the city walls are crumbling all around them. There’s history going back 600 years and they have a duty to protect it, not to let it rot away like this.

stairs removed to square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers saw the other day that in the Square Potel we saw a mini-differ that had brought down the condemned staircase that led down from the city walls and I mentioned that it was about time that something was done to make all of this area safe too.

But by the looks of things, the digger has cleared off too. The stairs are down and the ground underneath has been tidied but that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for the near future.

But it really is appalling, all of this. There was a campaign, as I have mentioned previously, when the previous mayor was in office to denounce her for the state that the place was getting into. But now there’s a new mayor, I wonder what the people who ran this campaign are saying now.

Today has been something of a depressing day, in case you haven’t already guessed from my first couple of paragraphs.

As usual, I was out of bed bang on the first alarm at 06:00 even though I didn’t feel like it, not having gone to bed until 00:30 this morning.

First task after my medication was to deal with some outstanding correspondence that has built up just recently. And as the regular readers of this rubbish have stopped writing to me, there wasn’t anything to send to them. But a couple of the mails were really quite important and we’ll see how they develop.

Then for a few hours I’ve been musicking. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been digitalising my record collection and today while searching around I came across some more stuff that relates to albums that I own so I was working on that.

Another thing that I did was to record a cassette tape onto the dictaphone to see how that would work. And that, dear reader, was a dismal failure. The sound levels are all over the place and had “clipped” so lowering the recording level after the event was no good. It all ended up filed under CS.

There are a couple of dictaphones around here so I’m going to see if I can find one with a manual recording level rather than an automatic level, and see what good that might do. I’m not beaten yet. Ohhh no!

The rest of the morning was spent dealing with the photos from August 2019 and I’m now back in Montana on my way to Winnipeg. And just as I was about to back up my work and go to lunch we had a power cut and it wiped it all out.

After lunch I started to try to restore everything and by the time that it was walkies I was a long way from finishing it.

fishing boat yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I trotted into the wild blue yonder and down to the wall to look out to sea to see what was going on out there today.

Out there in the Bay of Granville there’s some activity going on. Out there today we have a fishing boat that I don’t actually think is fishing right now. It looks as if it’s heading back into harbour.

Behind it is some kind of yacht, right out near the Ile de Chausey. It’s far too far away for me to be able to read its name and head-on to the camera like she is right now, I can’t actually pick up any clues from her hull lay-out either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here, I had a look down onto the beach to see if there was anything exciting happening.

Again, there isn’t all that much beach to be on but nevertheless, there are a couple of ^people down there sitting around on a rock. And rather them than me because it’s not exactly what I would call a warm summer day. Far from it in fact.

And you are probably noticing that today’s photo of the beach is taken frol a different perspective from the usual photographs. Instead of going around the headland this afternoon, I’ve gone off for walk around what remains of the city walls that hasn’t crumbled away.

objects swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut there near to the Plat Gousset there was something really strange going on this afternoon.

Whatever they are supposed to be, I really have no idea but they are animate objects swimming against the tide and current. They might be humans, they might be mammals or anything at all but I really can’t identify them well enough.

But here’s something interesting. It’s down this path that I used to go running back in the good old days. And as there was no-one around, I actually did break into a run. I only covered about 100 metres which is nothing like enough or anything like as much as I used to do, but it was a start and it astonished me that I could even run that much after what I’ve been through.

lifeguard watching man entering water by diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a viewpoint along the path where I can stop and look out over the Plat Gousset to se what’s going on down there.

And despite it being a wintry day, nothing like summer at all, we actually have a lifeguard on duty there this afternoon, presumably with thermal blankets and mugs of hot soup and other artefacts and devices for treating frostbite.

There’s a guy down there who’s going off to test the water, but I imagine that he’s pretty safe. He’s not actually dressed for going swimming.

And in this photo you can see that the diving platform has been erected on top of the concrete pillar.

people swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat guy might not have been dressed for swimming but these two people are, and don’t they know it?

There’s a couple down there in the water cavorting about and they are certainly braver men than I am, Gungha Din because not even Kate Bush and Jenny Agutter in skimpy bikinis would entice me into the water this afternoon in weather like we are having right now.

For a few minutes, I stood there and watched them fooling around and then I wandered off down the path to carry on with the rest of my walk. There were too many people about for me to break into a run. I don’t want to show myself up. I can do that without breaking into a run

seagull chick flapping its wings rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the Square Maurice Marland there were still too many people around for me to start running, so I walked over to the edge of the path where I can look at the seagull chicks on the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs.

And it looks as if there are plenty of things happening right now. A few of them were flapping their wings and taking their first steps towards some kind of flight, like this one here and his sibling who were really making a valiant attempt to get off the ground.

It won’t be long until this new generation of seagulls will be flying around the town. And as an aside, any visitor to Granville is advised to bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

digger and lorry rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the Square Maurice Marland I found myself in the Rue Lecarpentier.

There’s some excitement going on there today as well because we have a lorry and a digger. They aren’t actually doing anything except blocking the street, because this is a cul-de-sac for vehicles and those stuck down at the bottom end were I am can’t move away until the lorry clears off.

Incidentally, there’s an interesting story told about one of the houses here. It’s actually facing into the street but it’s been turned round in effect so that the front entrance is through the garden at the back, off the Rue Notre Dame.

The story is that the owner of the house had an argument with the descendants of the person after whom the street is named, so he changed the layout of his house round so that its address was no longer “Rue Lecarpentier” but “Rue Notre Dame”.

thora normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day, the swimming pool on the quayside suggested to me that Normandy Trader would be in port pretty soon.

Well, I wasn’t wrong, was I? She seems to have come in on the morning tide and brought her friend Thora with her as well.

What with all of the changes that have been going on as a result of Brexit, and one or two as a result of Covid, we have had weeks when we haven’t even seen one of the little Channel Island freighters, never mind both of them. and so we really are lucky to see both of them in port together like this.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe boat that’s underneath the loading crane is Thora.

She was built in the Faroe islands in 1975 and was the fifth of the ferry boats ordered by the Shetland Islands Council when they began to run the ferries between the mainland of Shetland and the outlying islands.

She was one of the two ships that operated the ferry service across Yell Sound but that was a route that was only really busy in the summer so for much of the time she was either laid up or else operated as the relief vessel for the other runs.

She was laid up in 2006 when a new ship arrived to relieve her.

She first appeared here two or three years ago and looked quite smart at the time but the sea and the sinds that we have around here have given her quite a battering.

She’s used occasionally as a car ferry and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen cars lifted off her deck by the crane.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe ship to the right is the Normandy Trader She’s a converted landing craft – an ex-military machine apparently, designed for transporting tanks and that kind of thing.

And apart from the fact that she’s 27 metres long, I’ve not been able to find out very much else about her.

But you can see the swimming pool. That was what gave the game away. I know that she has the contract with a certain manufacturer for moving the swimming pools to their new clients in the Channel Islands, so when I saw one on the quayside on returning from Leuven, I guessed that the boat will be in port quite soon.

After all, they aren’t going to leave them lying around for too long.

patrol boat baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was watching the two little freighters, there was some activity going on close inshore in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw an official-looking boat passing by the entrance to the harbour towing a little boat behind her. And here she is again, or at least, one very much like her.

There’s no possibility of reading her name from here which is a shame. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen one boat very much like her, Les Epiettes when we were on the Ile de Chausey last year and they are some kind of patrol boat. Bit I’ve no idea what they are supposed to be patrolling.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey won’t be patrolling the fisheries right now because by the looks of things the boats are coming in with their catch.

There are quite a few boats down there today, and if you look at the back of the queue you’ll see the boat that we saw as we set out on our journey. I was right when I said that she seemed to be on her way into port.

You can see the layout of the wharf here. The bigger loads of seafood are lifted up my the little cranes that you can see here and are whisked away by fork-lift truck into the plant for processing.

But you’ll notice the ramp that goes down and underneath where the people are working. Several of the smaller boats are chartered by fish shops, restaurants and the like. Their vehicles can drive down there underneath and the crew of “their” boats can pass the catch to them to be taken away

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot all of the fishing boats are in by the look of things.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the activity that has been taking place in the Baie de Mont St Michel. We have another two boats out there fishing even as we speak I don’t know who they are though unfortunately.

Anyway, I’ve done enough right now so I’m heading off home for a hot coffee and to carry on with recovering some of the stuff from when the power went. I never had this problem with laptops.

By 18:00 I’d done all that I could so I had a play with the bass guitar, writing out the notes for one of the songs that I need to learn. This is going to be a very long series of sessions

Tea was a curry from the freezer followed by more apple pie, which really is good. And now I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list. I need to organise myself for that. I wonder how I’ll get on up the hill?

Sunday 16th May 2021 – IN ACCORDANCE WITH …

… usual procedures I had a good lie-in today. I awoke a couple of times, like at 07:20 for example but no chance whatever of my leaving the bed at that ungodly hour on a Sunday morning.

10:30 was a much more reasonable time to be awake definitively, but that’s not necessarily the time that I left my comfortable clean bed. It took me about an hour or so to summon up the energy to leap from my stinking pit. Not a single attack of cramp during the night either.

After the medication I brought a mug of coffee in here with me and sat down to listen to the dictaphone. And I’m surprised that I had any time left for sleeping after everything that was going on while I was in my stinking pit.

Nerina had been working for a taxi company. It had been a Saturday night and everyone had been really busy. They were lining up to get their pay. When Nerina was called up they went through all of her bookings she’d taken and there was a booking there that had been written in someone else’s handwriting in a totally different style and it looked as if it was a booking for one of my taxis. The guy who was running County Cars said to her about this that we would knock off an hour for her wages. She could work for him for an hour doing a contract to make it up. He gave her the money. There were one or two other deductions that I thought were strange. Nerina said afterwards “do you have any plans for my future career”? He looked at her and said “well, I can continue to find you work on so many nights per week if that’s what you mean”. This led into another lengthy discussion. Then Nerina went off. One of the deductions that he had made was because of the screaming. So Nerina went off and I thought that when she comes back I’ll ask her about this screaming thing because if something had happened I’d want to know about it. But she never came back and I was sitting there waiting. I was in bed and I thought that she’d come and tell me what had happened but apparently not. No, she never said anything and never came back.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this the 2 of us were at some kind of town where the Germans had attacked in 1940 and destroyed the place beating it up quite badly. We were there and the place had caught fire and burning. Everyone was putting things out. I was thinking “if the Germans had done this here, what had then done to the rest of the country? There was going to be plenty of opportunity for people who can sew to make lots of money, sewing new curtains and so on”. I mentioned this to 1 of the people there who was a tourist as well walking around. He wa saying “It’s strange. I thought this town had 2 bridges” which it did but they weren’t close together. 1 of them was right up at the other end of town but I didn’t tell him that. I let him carry on with his rant. I walked back to where we had started and there were 2 huge queues there. It turned out that this was the vaccination queue. All the women had been called regardless of age. For the men it had been the older men and the younger men and the age bracket for me hadn’t been called so we had to wait around. I thought that this would take hours and I had an appointment somewhere and I was going to miss it because of all of this. But the line started moving quite rapidly and I thought that I might still make my appointment after all.

Later on I was in a café in a big hotel sitting at a table waiting for Nerina to come down. She came down and sat at a table on the inside of the café, not on the outside. I waited for a few minutes, then she stood up and picked up her mug, came and looked outside and walked straight past my table and went to sit on a table with someone else. I waved and made a few gestures and she came over to my table and put down her cup. I said to her “hey Nerina, there’s a pot of tea here” because I’d asked the waiter for a cup of tea earlier and he had brought me a large pot absolutely full. She poured herself a cup of tea but it was rather cold so she picked up my cup of tea and said “I’ll have this warmed for you” nd walked off leaving me alone with this woman. I explained to this woman that i was not used to being up at this time of the morning. I used to work peculiar hours. She said “this is a $10,000 hotel”. I asked what she meant. She said “it costs $10,000 to stay here”. We were paying in the region of $30 per night but then again we were in the attic in the servants quarters. I explained that we were on the poor menu and that we were pushed up in the eaves. She didn’t think that that was good. She thought that we should be given more consideration. My response was that the more consideration you had, the more you had to pay and we couldn’t pay $10,000 per night. Then the story turned round to Nerina again. I was wondering where Nerina had gone with my cup of tea and more importantly how she was going to warm it. All kinds of strange ideas about how she would warm it came into my head.

There was also somewhere in the middle of all of thiswhere I saw an old A35 van body. I’d been with Rosemary and she was living in London. On my way down I’d picked up a motor bike, a hybrid between a Triumph and a BSA but it was only half-finished and there were bits missing. I’d picked that up and it was in the back of Caliburn. I got down to where Rosemary was living in London and not too far away in a field was an old A35 van. I went over to photograph it. it was only the bodyshell and the front subframe but the number on it was one of the old type with 4 numbers and 2 letters. I was taking a photo of it and a woman came to see what I was doing. I explained to her and she said “it’s for sale if you like, £45:00, and I have all of the papers and the V5 for it”. I paid her the £45:00 and put it in the back of Caliburn. Then I couldn’t remember the house where this woman lived. I knew that it was right next door to Rosemary’s but it was so confusing because her place didn’t look anything like how it looked to me. it was just so confusing. It took me quite a while to find this woman’s house. And then when I knocked on her door she came and I asked her about the papers. She said “so and so has them” and she took me up this enormous flight of steps at Rosemary’s house. Then she climbed over a wall and went down the steps on the other side. A guy came out and climbed halfway up to meet her. She started to talk to hom so I asked “should I come down?”. She was carrying on this conversation with him – it was obvious that it was he who had the papers somewhere but we never seemed to get to the point about “could I have these papers”.

It’s interesting to see Nerina appearing so regularly on my travels these days. It’s getting on for 30 years since I last saw her. We don’t seem to see as many newer people featuring these days which is a disappointment. Whatever happened to Castor and Pollux? And TOTGA? And Percy Penguin and a certain young lady from Stoke on Trent who was such a regular at one time?

High time I had a clean-out in my head, but then if anything ever were to come clean, that would be goodbye to Percy Penguin for a start. And probably Miss Stoke on Trent too. Rather like Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski, I would have to come clean over those two at least, if not all of the others too.

In between all of this I went for breakfast. Well, lunch actually. Porridge and toast and another coffee. And afterwards I made another big pile of pizza dough ow that I’ve run out. We can’t have a Sunday without a pizza, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe mustn’t forget our afternoon walk. Not for the least reasons of which is that we have to go and look over the wall down onto the beach to see what’s going on down there this afternoon.

And not from our usual viewpoint either. I’m actually at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord this afternoon because I’m going the other way around, round the medieval city walls rather than around the headland.

Sure enough, there are quite a few people down there this afternoon taking a walk, and stopping to inspect the shellfish whenever they have a chance. The tide is quite a way out this afternoon so there’s plenty of room to be out and about down there.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you want to know where I am, which I’m sure that you do, this is another one of the views that I have from the viewpoint.

That’s the Rue du Nord down there and I’ll be walking down there in a moment or two. This stone building, and the one further down set into the walls, are medieval lavatories with a chute down into the sea or onto the beach or the heads of whoever is walking by underneath.

The farthest one is still a public lavatory and receives a considerable amount of use from walkers but today there is modern plumbing so it’s safe to be in the immediate vicinity underneath it.

In the distance you can see the walls rising up on the cliffs and the little gateway that leads to a path underneath the city walls.

footpath under walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is a closer view of the gateway that leads down to the path underneath the walls. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen several photos that I’ve taken from the top of it.

We’ve had quite a lot of rain this morning and you can see what’s happened to the footpath underneath the walls. Sometimes it’s so bad that regular readers of this rubbish will also recall that it’s been impassable and I’ve had to go on the upper path.

Today though regardless of the flooding I’m going along the lower path and side-stepping the puddles. The view is so much better from down there and out to sea. But I do wish that they would improve the path.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall reading is that we have our own tidal swimming pool.

In the past it’s been left to abandon but last year they came and dug all of the sand out and sealed a few of the worst gaps and we had quite a nice summer season of people enjoying themselves in it. Over the winter the storms that we had filled it once again with sand but they were back with the diggers a few weeks ago apparently and dug all of the sand out.

And so when the crowds start to swarm over here as the summer develops in a couple of weeks’ time, we’ll see the tidal swimming pool having plenty of use with all of the grockles. As long as they keep out of my way and don’t bring the Covid with them, we’ll be fine.

people eating gaufres crepes and ice cream place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there are sure signs of summer here and there all around us.

With the easing of Covid restrictions places are slowly starting to open up. The kebab shop in the Place Marechal Foch might still be closed but the ice cream stall down there is open and there are quite a few people congregating around there with ice cream cornets and the like.

To be honest, I did check my pockets but to no avail. I’ve left my money behind in the apartment. There’s the €50 note that I keep tucked in behind my mobile phone but it seemed to be a waste to go down there and change it for a handful of notes, coins and an ice cream, always assuming that they have their vegan lines back in stock.

As an aside, there’s a €50 note hidden in my mobile phone and another one hidden in Caliburn. Years of sometimes bitter experience has taught me what it’s like to be out and about and forgetting to bring my money with me.

storm at sea square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned that we had had a pile of rain earlier this morning that had drenched just about everywhere and everything that was out in it.

As I walked across the Square Maurice Marland I could see that another storm was developing in the Baie de Mont St Michel. And the wind that we have, being a prevailing westerly wind, would be blowing it my way and I’ll be in for a drenching if I don’t get a move on.

But the condition of the Square is rather disappointing right now. The kiddies’ amusements are out of bounds right now and it’s all rather weedy. I hope that the local Council will do something about it before the summer.

It’s really ironic, if not hilarious. that the opponents of the previous mayor were so quick to hurl the abuse at her about the condition of the Square. Since there has been a new Mayor, the condition of the Square has worsened rapidly.

marite coelacanthe la grande ancre philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square is another viewpoint that overlooks the loading area od the port and regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of photos from there in the past.

Today of course, there is Marité tied up in her usual berth but in the loading bay underneath the crane is Le Coelacanthe, one of the largest trawlers that operate out of the port. The fact that she is moored there would seem to indicate that we won’t be having a Jersey freighter in any time soon.

Talking of Jersey freighters, when Normandy Trader came in here the other day, she didn’t bring any shellfish with her. The local fishermen would let her come in to take away the stuff on the quayside but they wouldn’t let her bring anything in.

To the right of Le Coelacanthe is la Grande Ancre, the boat that sometimes takes tractors and other items out to the Ile de Chausey. Behind her is Philcathane, one of the trawlers whose name has regularly cropped up on the radar as fishing in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

different colours of the sea pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was up here looking out to sea I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the colour of the sea out there at the Pointe du Roc.

It’s not the effects of the clouds that are causing that because we have 10/10ths cloud right now, so I wish that I knew for sure what it was. I know that there’s a freshwater spring that discharges into the sea around there but that doesn’t look as if it accounts for anything much.

So on that note I came home for a mug of hot coffee and to organise the pizza bases because two can do into the freezer for again and the third one needs rolling out. And while that was busy festering away afterwards I came in here and worked out one of the songs on this playlist. I’ve decided that I’ll do one per day, and there are about a dozen that I don’t know.

When the pizza base was ready I assembled it and when the oven was nice and hot I put it in.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s the finished product. Really nice and crispy and tasting delicious.

You’ll notice that there’s no pudding prepared tonight. That’s because there is still some chocolate sponge left and I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday. If by any bad luck I run out before next baking day, I can always invent something. I really fancy an apricot or pineapple upside-down cake and I wonder if this brownie sponge mix without the cocoa might work with it.

So now anyway I’ll be off to bed in a moment. But not quite yet. Onto the playlist has come a concert that I’ll be featuring as a live show on my radio programme sometime soon. A souvenir of Boston, Massachusetts and 1976 and the Marshall Tucker Band, one of the best live concerts ever.

I’ll wait until it’s finished and then I’ll go to bed

Wednesday 5th May 2021 – HAVING READ …

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the Press from yesterday, you’ll probably understand now why we are seeing fishing boats working away in the Baie de Mont St Michel these days.

With the eternal conflict going on around Jersey right now, it’s probably just as well that they take this opportunity to explore new fishing grounds closer to home to see what they are likely to be able to provide by the way of catch.

There were three or four out there this afternoon too. This one out near the Brittany coast is the closest to my point of view. All of the others were too far out for me to be able to photograph them appropriately. And I wonder how long they are going to be out there too. I haven’t seen them this diligent in the bay before now.

trawler leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I watched from my vantage point up on the walls, another one went out to join them in the bay. She left the harbour behind and headed off deeper into the bay.

But I have a feeling that this might not be as permanent arrangement as I might at one time have thought. In the Jersey Press today was the usual propaganda and sabre-rattling to placate the natives over there, but tucked away in a corner out of view was a little notice that the Jersey Authorities have approached the British Government and the European Union to seek permission to negotiate directly with the Normandy and Brittany fishermen.

The threat of cutting off the electricity to the islands did the trick. It didn’t take long for the French to bring the Channel Islanders to heel, did it?

And it didn’t take long for my bad habits to resurface did it? After a day yesterday where I went without crashing out, I succumbed this afternoon. Not as badly as I have done in the past just recently but it was still a dismal state of affairs.

Mind you, I blame the fact that I couldn’t sleep last night and it was about 02:30 by the time that I went to bed. No-one is going to feel on form after just 3.5 hours sleep. In fact I’m surprised that I kept going for as long as I did today.

After the medication I didn’t do much and that’s not a surprise. I stirred a few papers around and that’s just about it as far as the morning went. There were so many things that needed to be done but I ended up doing nothing at all.

One of the things that I forgot to do this morning was to make some more hummus. As a result I had to have vegan cheese with my salad on my butties and I don’t have all that much of that left.

This afternoon I finally started work and brought my journal up-to-date by indexing the entries that hadn’t been indexed, and there were quite a few of those. And then I attacked the dictaphone entries. Most of them are done but I’m not going to update the journal until they are all finished. I can however add in today’s to let you know where I went during what there was of the night last night.

But talking of last night, It’s been a good while since I’ve had a night sweat but I had one then. I can’t remember now very much about my voyage now except that there was a horse involved in it somewhere. I was having to meet some people coming home or I was coming home and had to meet some people, something like that, I can’t remember now but I awoke drenched in sweat.

After going back to sleep I was back in County Durham again on the east coast. There were plenty of car scrapyards around one of which was full of lorries and bits of garden hose, all kinds of other stuff as well. There was more to it than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

In fact there will be a couple of the arrears that won’t make it on line. There have been a few very disturbing ones just recently.

place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall
For a change this afternoon I decided on going for a walk around the medieval city walls. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that way round.

While I was out here I took advantage of the viewpoint that goes across the top of the gate that leads outside the city walls. There’s a nice view along here to the Place d’Armes where I live. If you see just to the right of centre the white building with the sloping roof, my own building is the big stone one immediately behind it.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) you can’t see my own apartment from there.

The large building further back with the modern extension to the right is the College Malraux, the local High School

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a good view out to sea from up here on the walls.

In the distance I could see something moving about over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it with the aim of blowing it up (something that I can do, despite modern anti-terrorist legislation) so that I can see what it was that I had seen.

At first I thought that it might have been Joly France or Chausiais coming back from the Ile de Chausey, even though it’s off the usual route that they take coming back. But in actual fact she’s one of the trawlers out of the port.

At least she’s managed to get out to sea today despite the current issues with the Channel Islands.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFinal thing that I must do while I’m on this side of the headland is to look down onto the beach to see if there was anyone about.

But there wasn’t all that much beach to be on as you probably saw on one of the earlier photographs. The tide is quite far in as I was taking these photographs. Mind you, this guy and his little daughter seem to have found a nice corner in which to sit. Anywhere on the beach near the sea is good enough for a small child regardless of the weather and the state of the tide.

On the footpath underneath the walls I might have been tempted to break into a run, but there were far too many people around for me to want to embarrass myself like this. Instead, I had a nice leisurely walk underneath the walls.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch and the Plat Gousset.

There was certainly no shortage of people wandering around there this afternoon. It’s half-day closing at the schools of course so many people here have the afternoon off to look after their kids. So if you ever want to find a crowd of people at some time other than a weekend, Wednesday afternoon is the time to be doing it.

There aren’t any Birdmen of Alcatraz out there today though. And thinking on, we haven’t seen any of them about for quite a while either. So musing on that particular thought, I set off across the square Maurice Marland and headed back for home and my coffee.

road works rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way home, I managed to track down the workmen who have been doing stuff around the Rue Cambernon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last week or ten days ago we’ve seen signs of them setting up a camp in the Place d’Armes and driving around in dumpers loaded with gravel and I mentioned that I’ll have to go and find out where it was that they are working. And there they are, down there at the corner of the Rue Saint Michel.

And that was exactly the same place where they were working the last time that we were round here, which was before Christmas if I remember rightly when they were doing things all the way up the street.

road works rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s difficult to believe that after all of this time they are still working there and haven’t finished off what they were doing.

It was my intention to take a short cut down the alleyway at the far end of the Rue St Michel but that was ruled out because the workmen haven’t finished at that end either. There was a guy there with a compactor flattening everything down in the street and sweeping up the debris quite diligently with his broom.

In the end I had to go the long way around and leave the workmen to whatever it was that they were doing. And when I reached the walls, I could see the trawlers that I photographed earlier.

And as I write these notes I can add that since I started them I’ve discovered that the British Government has sent two gunboats to the Bay of Granville. Bearing in mind that the entire might of the Royal Navy couldn’t defeat a handful of Icelandic trawlers in the 1960s, I can’t see this doing much good.

And as I have said before, it doesn’t matter how much fish the British fishing boats catch. If they can’t sell any of it, it won’t make the slightest difference.

chevrolet car from connecticut parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that hasn’t changed much is the little Chevrolet car.

It has Connecticut licence plates but the stickers expired a long, long (as in 10 years or so if I remember correctly) time ago and was abandoned here last Summer. Like the car in the Rue St Paul, they don’t seem to be in too much hury removing it.

As it happens I’m keen to find out who the owner might be, for the simple reason that I would like to know how he managed to bring the vehicle over here. It’s not a high-value vehicle so the costs of shipping it would be more than the cost of a replacement vehicle, from what my researches have revealed.

If I could find a way to move Caliburn economically back and to across the Atlantic every year I would do so at the drop of a hat.

Back here I carried on with a little work and then went for guitar practice.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap followed by jam roly-poly and home-made custard. And While I was making the custard I was thinking that why don’t I make another one of those chocolate sponges that I made once or twice and them instead of vanilla flavouring, put chocolate powder in the mix for the sauce? That would be nice.

So now I’m off to bed. I’ve done enough today. Hopefully I’ll awake early and have a grandstand seat at the naval battle that will take place offshore. I can’t imagine that the French would let British gunboats cruise around just offshore here without bringing in one or two of their own.

Sunday 17th January 2021 – HERE ARE …

home made bread vegan pizza jam roly poly place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today’s culinary offerings, all fresh out of the oven.

Yes, I’ve been a very busy boy today, even though I didn’t feel very much like it.

What we have is a loaf of bread of course, a vegan pizza ditto, and as an extra special treat a rather overdone (unfortunately) jam roly-poly for pudding next week.

Firstly, as for the pizza, I forgot the tomato sauce so I had to make my own. Three tomatoes were whizzed around in the whizzer and strained to remove the worst of the liquid. The mush was then put back into the whizzer with some concentrate from a tube, some oregano, basil and tarragon and all whizzed up into a purée.

The jam roly-poly is rather different. A mug and a half of flour, half a sachet of yeast some salt, a little sugar and a dab of oil, and make a dough like you would for a pizza.

Leave it to proof for a while and then knead it and roll it out with the rolling pin into a large square. Spread with jam, sprinkle with desiccated coconut and roll it up. And then leave it for an hour or so.

Finally, dust with cinnamon, brush with milk, sprinkle with brown sugar and then cook. I had to cut mine in half to fit in my oven, but here we are – pudding for next week.

That’s not the best of it though.

It’s Sunday with no alarm but even so I was up and about by 09:00 and by 11:15 I’d steam-cleaned the apartment, taken a load of rubbish outside and had the place looking nice and respectable – something that I never thought I would be able to manage.

Liz and Terry promptly turned up, bang on cue, and now I have a major problem because the frozen hot-cross buns that they brought have caused my freezer to have a major overflow and now the rather inefficient icebox in the fridge has had to be pressed into service

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had a coffee we went for a walk around the walls in the gale-force winds.

And this is one of the reasons why I don’t like coming around the walls in the afternoon – you see the sun shining off the roof of the Casino and yet the Plat Gousset is in deep shadow from the cliffs. Trying to balance this lighting is what one might describe as “extremely challenging”.

Still, once we were out of the wind we had a pleasant walk in the sun across the Square Maurice Marland, watching the picnickers enjoying their food. And I don’t blame them at all.

pipe markings rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve mentioned a couple of times just recently the weird hieroglyphics painted on the street, presumably something to do with all of the pipework that they will be doing.

The alleyway that cuts through the Rue St Michel where they are currently working terminates in the Rue du Midi and here’s a good example of what I mean. It’s all quite graphic, isn’t it?

So having noted that, we pushed on home because it was lunchtime. Liz had made some leek and potato soup the other day and had plenty left over so she had brought it round. We had soup and bread (she brought some bread too) followed by fruit and mint tea.

After they left, I started on my cooking and while it was all a-doing I had a listen to the dictaphone.

Even though I didn’t have a great deal of sleep I had been on my travels and gone for miles during the night. A whole group of us was together and we were listening to a programme on the radio – a live broadcast of a court case in New York due to start at 07:45 so we had everything all ready and settled down and turned on the radio and it was Kenneth Horne on “Round the Horne”. We were all extremely disappointed because we had been looking forward to this. It was on a Friday and we didn’t have the paper any more with all of the times on it from the previous weekend so we carried on doing some kind of ordinary stuff and the chat came round to something about times and I suddenly realised that if I was saying 07:45 in New York it wouldn’t be 07:45 UK time but USA time and that would explain the difference. We ended up waiting for a bus in the West Midlands somewhere, watching all these buses go past, including a weird single-decker towing a refreshment trailer with people inside having coffee. This went past about 3 or 4 times. Our bus turned up and we clambered aboard and went upstairs. One of the people with us was Liz Ayers or someone resembling her. There were a load of kids all messing around at the front so she went up to them and gave them a lecture, like any teacher would have done to a pile of children. Of course everyone was astonished by this including some of the kids who were sitting somewhere else but she bawled them out. In the end they all settled down quietly and we carried on. Back in the house there was a large number of us getting ready for tea. I was a bit late – everyone had started. Something came on the radio and I remembered that 1 of the girls had wanted to hear something so when I went down to get my tea I said to the girl “such and such a programme is on the radio now”. She asked “why are you telling me?”. I replied “I thought you asked them to tell you”. “No, that’s Helen” she replied, pointing to a girl whom I didn’t know sitting at the table. I told her and then I had to sit down and had to find my meal because there were dozens of meals on this table and none of them particularly corresponded with any seating position. I tried to work out which meal was mine but it was extremely difficult.

Later on I was on holiday with Castor. We’d been driving around Europe in the car. We’d been out for 3 or 4 days and been to a couple of places and seen a few things. Suddenly, she asked me “Eric, do you know how to have fun? Do you know how to party?”. I had to admit – I said ‘no I don’t” which is perfectly true (and it is too – I have no idea how to do these in real life). We had along discussion about the holiday and so on. “Maybe it’s my fault” I said. I pointed to an ruined old church, an Eastern European type church. “See that?” I asked. “We’re in Brasov in Romania at the moment. Perhaps it’s me – maybe I don’t explain things properly. If you want to go to see something like that somewhere we’ve passed through you have to say ‘let’s go and have a look at that’ – you don’t just have to sit there and come with me. You can make suggestions, all this. You can say anything, like ‘how far are we from Bucharest’ and ‘why don’t we go here?’ “. “Yes” she replied ” but no-one knows all the old stories about these places like you do”. Our chat carried on and I tried to make some sense of what was happening.

Later still, I was in Crewe and I had to catch the bus back to Shavington. I had my suitcase and I’d taken so long over this meal, and that was an event too. The café was small, crowded and the seats were jammed up against each other and difficult to find a place to sit. In the end I found a place and a woman sat with me. We had a quick meal and something, and when she got up to go she began to berate the staff about the untidy place and all this, the lack of room. I thought that this was most unfair considering the conditions under which they were working. Then I thought “God, I’d better get a move on or I’ll miss my bus”. I had to go up to the counter and pay. It was £2:50 for a plate of beans on toast and a couple of drinks which I thought was really good value. I only had my card so they gave me the machine. I had to be careful because this was the kind of place where you hide your PIN while you were tapping it in. When I left I thought “I have 5 minutes to go and fetch my suitcase and go and catch my bus. Should I stay at the hotel an extra night, or catch the next bus or should I go on this bus and come back in a car to fetch my luggage?”. I thought that the taxis would be busy because it’s Saturday so coming back might be difficult. In the end I went on the bus and got to Shavington and walked down the street. Of course, all the cars were out. I thought then that I’d better go back on the bus and get my luggage. Then I saw a couple of young girls moving around the house so I thought that I’d go in. So I went in and everyone was pleased to see me. Someone said “I’m sorry about your luggage stuck in New York. We heard the story”. I didn’t understand that at all. One of my sister’s children started to talk that everyone had been up Big Ben. I spoke to her about it and we had a chat. There was my youngest sister there also so we had a bit of a chat as well.

There was much more to it than this too – a whole voyage as well but as you are having your tea right now probably I’ll spare you the gory details.

So now that tea is finished, I’m off to bed. Despite the short sleep and the full, busy day I’ve managed to keep going. But I don’t want to push my luck. There’s still plenty to do.

Friday 15th January 2021 – LET’S NOT TALK …

… about this morning. It wasn’t 05:45 when I left my stinking pit – and neither was it 06:45, or 07:45, or 08:45, and while I might have been awake at 09:45, it wasn’t then that I left my bed either.

So that was the whole morning ruined.

It’s my own fault though. It was already a late night when I was planning on going to bed, but just as I was about to retire, onto the playlist came LA GAZZA LADRA, and if I ever have to make a list of the 10 best live rock albums of all time, this one would be well in there.

And so I need not continue.

Much to my surprise I’d been off on my travels during the night – or rather, the morning. We had a French exchange student staying with us – it was actually one of my little nieces – who was very uncomfortable as she had a different approach to life than some of the other kids so she didn’t socialise easily but she fitted in well where I was living with my friends from on the Wirral as the mum and dad. I don’t know what i was doing there but anyway it was now time for me to leave. The father, who has now turned into my niece’s husband was working on the car that would take me back into town to pick up my bus and he had to get the car out and give me time to be washed and ready but the time went so quickly that the mother had to call me. As I was going downstairs she said “do you want to go back upstairs? There’s some suntan oil in my bathroom cupboard. I replied “there’s no need for any of that”. She explained to our exchange student, who really WAS our exchange student from Summer 2019 by now, that in between living in the Wirral and where we were living today she’d lived in the USA for a while. Then we started to get the car ready for me and I thought “well, I’m being rushed a bit here and they are running me out of the house a bit”. This was making me a bit wary about what was happening and I don’t know why.

And at some point in all of this, Castor appeared in this dream – playing cards or doing a jigsaw with someone in a room upstairs, something that filled me with dismay and has more of a significance than any casual reader might realise.

So another exciting night and having had a shortage of pleasant nocturnal companions for quite some considerable time, I end up with a plethora thereof, all at once. I wish that my real life was this exciting.

What was exciting was that I actually managed to finish the magnum opus that is my account of the history of Chateau Gaillard. Well, it’s not finished – it’s merely the rough first draft and although it’s on line it’s going to be edited quite considerably before I publish it.

tractor trailer fish processing plant trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was of course the afternoon walk around the headland. And in the beautiful weather too because although it was cold, the wind had dropped and we actually had a bright sunshine.

What surprised me about that was that many of the fishing boats were tied up in port this afternoon. Having seen the weather through which many of them had struggled over the past few days, I would have expected them to have made the most of the good weather today and been out there in droves.

But there must be someone out at sea because the tractor and trailer that hauls the shellfish around the local area is parked on the ramp, implying that they are waiting for someone to arrive.

chausiais joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no change in the chantier navale either – the same four boats.

And over at the ferry terminal, there was nothing happening either. Chausiais and one of the Joly France boats that provide the ferry service over to the Ile de Chausey are still there, moored up and aground with the low tide.

But no Channel Islands ferries. They are moored in the inner harbour where they have been since services were suspended with the virus. And it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing them up and running, because I’ve heard a story that unless the Channel Islanders dip their hands in their pockets to subsidise the service, something that they have so far failed to do, then the ferry service won’t be restarting.

Back here I had a hot coffee and, fighting off the waves of sleep that were somehow overwhelming me despite the long lie-in that I had had, I finished off the Chateau Gaillard and then had a very depressing hour on the guitars. I wasn’t there with it at all.

crescent moon rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was then the evening run of course after I’d finished the guitars.

Here’s a view that we’ve seen on several occasions, but not quite like this. This is the Rue du Nord looking back towards the Place d’Armes in the background over to the right. But tonight we had a beautiful sliver of crescent moon to light up our path a little.

From there I disappeared down through the gate and along the path underneath the walls, part running and part walking. There was no storm tonight whipping up the waves down at the Plat Gousset so I pushed on … “pushed off, he means” – ed.

replacing gas main rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me at a run across the Square Maurice Marland on the way home.

having seen everything that was going on with the machinery yesterday I reckoned that I would go and investigate the Rue St Michel to see how they were doing. And they haven’t been hanging around either. They’ve dug quite a trench already so they won’t be long in doing this.

Unfortunately the alleyway was closed off at the other end so in order to make it to the walls I had to turn round and go the long way around.

la grande ancre fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was all quiet at the fish processing plant this evening. But I was lucky enough to catch La Grande Ancre (for it is indeed she) moving away as if she has just unloaded her catch.

Once she’d moved away I moved away and ran for home and for tea.

Tonight I took a frozen aubergine and kidney bean whatsit from the freezer and ate that with pasta and frozen vegetables, followed by more of my jam pie. That was a really good invention, that was. I’m pleased with how that turned out.

Although it’s not early, it’s earlier than it has been just recently so I’m off to bed. I really must try to do better than I have because this is all beginning (well, not beginning – well-advanced, actually) to bring me down and the last thing that I need to do is to bog myself down in a depression with all of this going on.

Look for the positives! And who knows? I might even find one one day.

Thursday 14th January 2021 – JUST FOR A …

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… change, I managed to beat the third alarm again this morning.

Well, to be honest, I didn’t. When it started up I was still in bed but I was on the point of hauling myself out of my stinking pit at that moment, and I was out of bed like a ferret up a trouser leg.

Mind you, to be perfectly honest I would have given all that I had to have been able to go back to bed and back to sleep because I didn’t feel like it at all today. It wasn’t a good start to the day at all.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe orange kefir has calmed down enough to drink now, so I took my medication with that this morning. And it is delicious, I do have to say that. It’s a good batch.

And then I came back in here to check the dictaphone. That was one of the things that I promised yesterday that I would do first thing. And indeed there were several files recorded on there so I sat down to have a listen and to transcribe them.

There was one for yesterday and one for the day before and they are now on-line where they ought to be. But don’t worry – there was nothing exciting which is a shame. And no interesting companions, which is even worse.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall The ones from today weren’t any more exciting either.

We started off on a ferry – one of these boats with cabins. I’d designed a pile of furniture and fitted it into these rooms – cabins the previous year. Some kind of incident had taken place between me and a girl. This year I had to design the same cabins and a similar kind of furniture but the measurements were completely different. When everything was laid out in the room it looked fine, OK, but the measurements were different. People crowded in to see what was happening. The guy in charge asked me what I thought about it so I told him. He told me what he thought, that it was very good, that sort of thing but when I mentioned “of course the measurements aren’t the same, are they? I’d like to know why there is the difference. He made a remark about “all the youngsters of today, they aren’t the same as in the past”. I could see that that was some kind of barbed comment. We were making all kinds of barbed comments about this and he even had some kind of winch thing to compress the furniture to see if it would fit any better.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHe then asked if I would be interested in taking the cabin. Of course I was going to hold out for the old measurements, the stuff that I had designed for last year but my partner said something about “we’ll take the bed It’s a lovely diesel-powered bed”, all of this but I was trying to get whoever it was to keep quiet about this because I wanted to solve this problem first but this was knowingly aiding this other guy in dealing with this year’s issues and not the issues that I wanted dealing with last year about this girl – that was it (what was? Which girl?). There had been a disco on board and he was posting all the photos of the New Year’s disco. For some reason I hadn’t gone – whether I hadn’t been invited I don’t know but I’d been scanning these photos to see whether this girl was on there but I couldn’t see her on there so I was wondering whether she had gone or not.

And I wish that I knew who she was.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on, there was a question of winning an Audi car in a competition but I had undone the wrong tin and got the wrong food in this so I’d put the stuff somewhere like under the bed or under the pillow in the hope that no-one would notice it and we’d carry on that I might qualify to win this car. I’m not sure if anyone had noticed but a TV presenter had started to make all kinds of cracks about Covid as if he knew that I had some kind of guilty secret about it and he was grinding the axe in me, making me suffer instead of minding these Series 19 Brush locomotives which was what I wanted to do in the first place.

And I don’t know what all that was about either, to be honest.

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on, I had a shower and a general clean-up, then grabbing my shopping bag, I headed out into the street for my Thursday shop at LIDL.

And if you thought that the weather had been bad just recently, it had absolutely nothing on what was going on this morning. One glance at the rough seas engulfing that trawler out there would give you a clue as to what the weather was doing.

We’ve had winds, and we’ve had more winds, but this morning’s winds were more than we have had for quite a while.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt first, I wasn’t sure what the ship was that I had seen, so I waited for it to pull into the harbour.

Now that I can see it closer up, I can recognise it as one that’s been in the harbour before, but I can’t think of her name right now. And in the background is the new trawler Le Pearl.

You’ll notice the red light illuminated at the harbour gate too. It started to flash just as our trawler came in and once it was safely in, the gates closed right behind it. Perfect timing, I would say.

Calling at the Post Office to post a letter, I pushed on along my way out of town.

There were a few things of interest that I bought in LIDL but I’m not going to say too much about them right now as it’s something for the future. But I bought my fruit and so on and then headed for home.

On the way back, I stopped off to try out their new cheque paying-in machine. All straightforward and easy once you know what to do.

bad parking rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that pathetic parking takes up a lot of room o these pages – so much so that you are probably as fed up of reading about it as I am of writing about it.

But sometimes, something happens that leaps out at you and you can’t pass it by – like this little incident here. On the left of where this delivery van is parked is a special parking bay reserved for deliveries and it happens to be empty right now. But our hero has parked alongside the loading bay, in the street, right next to a bollard, something that prevents anyone behind him from driving past

You really can’t make up things like this.

heavy industrial equipment place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, I pushed on up the road, not feeling anything like it at all, until I reached my building.

And here, I had something of a surprise. We have visitors in the square. A few huge earth-moving machines are parked up in the car park of the building across the road. It looks as if we are going to be having some major work done somewhere in the vicinity in the very near future.

No doubt we shall find out more about this in the near future.

Back here, I didn’t even have time to unload the shopping before I sat down and promptly dozed off. These walks, loaded up with shopping, are killing me at the moment but I need to do it. But eventually I recovered and was able to drink my cold chocolate and eat my slice of fruit sourdough.

At lunch I used the last of my bread so I need to make another loaf pretty soon, and then I came in here to carry on with the arrears of work. I’m still at the Chateau Gaillard but we’ve reached the period of the Religious Wars right now, so not very much to do.

person in water in wet suit place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was of course the afternoon walk. And even though by now it was raining, I was determined to go out and stretch my legs even more.

But not quite like this person is doing right now. In this wind you are not going to get me anywhere near the water’s edge, not even dressed in what appears to be a wetsuit. He’s a braver man than I am, Gunga Din.

Instead, I wandered off along the footpath on top of the cliffs, battling against the raging storm and the rain.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAcross the lawn and across the car park by the lighthouse and then down to the headland to catch the full force of the gale.

The weather was comparatively clear today, and for once you could see the Brittany coast and just about make out the church of Cancale on the cliffs across the bay. There was another nice sunset – although it’s not really a sunset right now – out there in the middle of the bay with the rays of sun shining through the gaps in the clouds and illuminating the water.

It’s a shame that the weather was so bad, but then again we wouldn’t have had the effect if the weather had been different.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather might indeed have been bad, but it wasn’t bad enough to put off these two people here down below where I’m standing.

As usual, there is always someone somewhere doing the peche à pied – the scavenging amongst the rocks for the shellfish. This are is quite famous for its shellfish, as you have probably gathered from the number of boats that go out from here and the number of people that we see on occasion when there’s a huge tidal coefficient.

There are always people going around armed with their gratter and bucket.

joker fishing boat trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I wandered off along the path on top of the cliffs on the other side of the headland.

This path takes me to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale and I always like to look down to see what’s going on there. And we have a change of occupant as well today. The yacht that has been there for ever is still there, as are the trawler and Joker, the blue and white shellfish boat.

But there’s a nw visitor in there today – the little silver and grey shellfish boat that has come to join in the fun.

unloading heavy equipment place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving admired the boats back at the chantier navale I headed off for home, to find myself confronted by yet more machinery.

This low-loader has just dropped off a little mini-digger. And seeing that there were a few guys hanging around I went to ask them what was going on.

There’s a street near here called the Rue St Michel and for the last 2 weeks it’s been covered with all kinds of multi-coloured hieroglyphics. It seems that some of those markings indicate a gas pipe, and these guys have come to dig it up and replace it.

Back here I carried on with my arrears and then broke off for my hour on the guitars, which I didn’t enjoy because I discovered that I seem to have lost my voice today, something that will please my neighbours mightily.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time that I went out for my evening walk the rain had stopped and we were treated to just the hurricane-force winds that made it difficult to run.

But at least the sea was enjoying the weather. You’ve already seen several photos that I’ve taken showing the waves coming crashing over the sea wall at the Plat Gousset with such incredible force. And I have to admit that I enjoyed the view as well – in fact I stayed there for a good few minutes watching them.

But I can’t stay there for ever. I ran off across the Square Maurice Marland in the direction of home.

gas pipe fitting repairing rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way home, I go past a little alley that leads down to the Rue t Michel, a dead-end street of old stone houses in the old Medieval town.

In the past I’ve wandered down it a couple of times but I’ve never taken a photo of what’s going on because it’s usually too dark. But tonight, taking my time, I managed to take a rather respectable photo of the end of the street. You can see all of the fencing that they are presumably going to put around the hole that they dig.

You can also see the crazy markings on the surface too but unfortunately, you can’t see the mini-digger, because that’s right behind where I’m standing.

trawler fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe little alleyway continues on to the old Medieval walls and so I went that way for a change.

From there I walked along the walls to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour where there is the really good view over the Fish Processing Plant. Quite a few of the fishing boats are still out fishing so the plant is open with people working there, a refrigerated lorry in the loading bay and a couple of vans on the car park.

And there’s a trawler moored up there too unloading even as we speak

trawler fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut some of the trawlers are already in, moored up at the quayside. And I’m not really sure if they are parking up or preparing to go out, with their lights ablaze like that.

Braving the wind and rain, I ran on home for my tea. With the leftover stuffing from Tuesday, I added a small tin of kidney beans and made myself taco rolls with rice, followed by another wedge of jam pie with soya coconut sauce.

Tons of stuff to write out again today so t’s going to be another late night by the looks of things. And what with an early start, I’ll end up looking and feeling like death. At least I don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow.

Sunday 20th December 2020 – SHRIMP BOATS …

fishing boats english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… are coming, there’s dancing tonight

Tonight while I was out on my run, I counted the number of fishing boats out at sea that were heading back to home, and made it at 18 as far as I could see, and there where probably even more others the that I couldn’t see too.

With Christmas rapidly approaching and with Brexit threatening to cut off access to the fishing grounds out there with the repealing of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville, anything that floats has probably gone out to sea to make the most of whatever they can catch between now and the end of the year.

As for me, I made the most of whatever sleep came my way last night. Despite not going to bed until 02:30 this morning, I slept all the way through until about 11:20, which isn’t too bad considering.

And plenty of time for me to go off on a voyage or two here and there. We were on board a ship last night steaming into a harbour – a really big harbour without many ships in there. We were imagining what it would have been like 100 years ago. We had to tie up and manoeuvre around in the port and that meant following the quayside edge very closely for quite a distance. I was thinking that 100 years ago with it full of ships we would never have done this. The cleats that you use for tying up the ship were missing – hadn’t been refitted after a paint job so we tipped out a box of them and found 3 but couldn’t find the screws then to screw them together. The screws that we had chosen out of here weren’t big enough. We didn’t have the right screws for some reason. Rosemary was there and she had to do something. I had the impression that it was to spread some jam on some bread or something but I can’t remember what it was she had to do. Then the ship pulled into port. By this time we were on the quayside and the ship pulled in and they threw out the ropes and tied her up. Down came the gang plank and we had to go back on board to get our things ready to move on. I helped on board those whom I was with.

Some time later I was on Crewe Bus Station with my mother and STRAWBERRY MOOSE waiting for a bus to Shavington. It was starting to become late and I thought to myself “I wonder where the thing has got to. It should have pulled in by now”. Mother was chatting away to people as she usually did. She talked to a bus conductor who told her that it had pulled in at the Zoom platform down there, platforms 4 5 and 6 which was where the buses usually went to. So what were we doing up at the top end of the bus station I don’t know. My mother needed some convincing and in the end she suddenly said “yes it must be” so off we ran. I had to fetch my rucksack which was extremely heavy and pick up Strawberry Moose. There was another girl there who was going to school for her first day. She was saying that it’s not going to be much fun if she turns up late for school or not even get in at all on her very first day. We ran on down to where the voice was, and I heard a voice shout “no, no, no” but I ignored it. I was just about to mount on the bus when I saw my mother up on top making “no” gestures so I had a look at the bus that I was just about to get on that he had indicated which was the K43 that goes to Nantwich via Willaston, not Shavington so I thought “what’s goign to happen now?” I had to get off again. A couple of minutes later she came back down. Then this really ancient kind of tram that was actually now a bus pulled into the bus station at Platform 1. We all went down to see it – it was “P” registered which was of course a nonsense because the thing was about 100 years old. We had a good look around it and found that it was an old Liverpool Corporation tram that Crosville had acquired and were going to use it as a bus. It turned out to be ours and we were actually going to have a ride on it as well. Someone took out his camera to photograph it so we all took out ours and stood back in a ring to take a photograph of it but for some reason my camera wasn’t working again and I just couldn’t get a pic of it. This was annoying of course because everyone else was wanting to walk down to have a closer look at it and I was asking them to wait until I had a photo which they were all willing to do but it was just taking me ages to try to take a photo. The camera just wouldn’t seem to take it

And I’m impressed that I can remember so much about the organisation of Crewe Bus Station in a dream after all these years. And it’s also strange that Crewe Bus Station always seems to put in an appearance round about this time of the year.

Later on during the night I was in Whitchurch – 2 of us had set off from Crewe or Nantwich and the guy I was with wasn’t ready so I said that I’d set off and he could catch me up. The usual way that we’d go to Shrewsbury would be via Audlem and Market Drayton but for some reason I went through Whitchurch that way. When I got into Whitchurch this guy still hadn’t caught me up and there was a huge flood in the centre of the town. By now I was on foot, and there was a Mark II Ford Zephyr taxi up to its doors in the water making really heavy weather of trying to get through. I thought that he shouldn’t have got through at all in this. A rough old thing as well with no interior trim or anything, a real ancient elderly machine. When we got past I took out my camera to take some photos but it wouldn’t work again. I ought to take loads of photos of these floods but I couldn’t get the camera to work. Then I noticed that trains were passing very slowly underneath the railway bridge so I went to see what was happening there. There was a load of workmen digging away at a pile of sand. It looked as if the bridge had collapsed onto the railway underneath in parts. I was there trying to take a photo of that but still the camera wouldn’t work. A guy came up and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was taking some photos for a blog. he replied “you’d better bring some bottles down for us. Me and my mates, we’d like some bottles” I said “I’ll talk to the readers – see what they have to say about it. They won’t even pay me for my travelling expenses”. In the end we were allowed down and I was having a look for the charge utile loading plate on the bridge. You could see where the bridge had collapsed under there – a proper Victorian construction. Again I went to take some photos but again the camera wouldn’t work. All that time I was trying to take these photos these kids kept on running around in front of me and the camera and I kept on telling them to keep away so they would keep away for a minute or two and run back again with all of this going on – the floods and the Zephyr up to its doors and the collapsed bridge and the trains inching their way past and the flaming camera wouldn’t work!

It’s not the first time that the NIKON 1 has let me down in a dream either. It seems to be becoming a regular feature in a nocturnal ramble these days, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

But while I’m on the subject, seeing as it came up in the middle of a nocturnal voyage, if you’ve enjoyed or profited from these notes, please make your next Amazon purchases by using the links aside. It costs you no extra but I receive a small commission that helps defray my web-hosting expenses

All of that took me right up until about 13:30 so I went for a hot chocolate and the last slice of my delicious fruit cake. And that gave me an idea.

One of the things that I’d noticed was after having fed the sourdough mother the other day, I noticed that for the very first time, it had risen spectacularly and the jar was full of gas.

Now one of the problems with my sourdough bread is that it doesn’t rise enough and it’s all rather damp and heavy like a cake. And so I prepared a sourdough dough mix and added all of my fruit and nut mix to it, including a couple of ripe bananas, and left it on one side.

If it doesn’t rise very much and ends up like a cake, as it seems to be doing right now, it won’t make any difference and it’ll still taste just as good with all of the fruit in it and I won’t be inconvenienced. And it’ll be a good opportunity to practice.

Having done that, I fed the sourdough again and put that on one side too.

When I’d been in LIDL last I’d bought a traditional ginger spice cake with nuts (completely vegan of course) because I have no Christmas cake this year with Liz being away. On Saturday I’d bought some marzipan so this afternoon I sprinkled my rolling pad with icing sugar and then rolled out a lump of marzipan until it was very thin.

While a couple of spoonfuls of strawberry jam were slowly melting in a saucepan over a very low heat, then using the cake as a template, I cut five slices of marzipan out of the bit that I’d rolled, for the top, the two sides and the two ends.

With the jam now nice and liquid and runny, I painted the 5 faces of the cake with a nice thick layer of the warm jammy liquid and then pressed the marzipan to it so it was now all covered (except for the base). That’s now going to cool and set for 72 hours and then I’m going to try to ice it.

seagull paddle board english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go off on my afternoon walk around the headland to see what was happening.

And there were quite a few people out there today having a wander around on the last weekend before Christmas, and even a couple of intrepid wetsuit-clad paddle-boarders having a go at practising their art. It looks as if one of them didn’t quite make it out to sea, but I imagine that he’ll remount and have another go at joining his friend at some point.

There’s a seagull out there that isn’t all that pleased about what has been going on and is expressing its displeasure at one of the paddle-boarders. And we know all about their accuracy

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there having a good look around, I noticed some movement right out at the north-eastern extremity of the Ile de Chausey.

It was very difficult to see what was happening with the naked eye so I took a long distance photograph to crop and enlarge when I returned home so that I might be able to see what it might be.

What was going through my mind was that it might be either Thora or Normandy Trader coming into port on an additional run, but in actual fact, it’s one of the larger of the trawlers from the port out there doing a little bit of fishing or whatever in that little corner.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I wandered off along the path towards the lighthouse, but there wasn’t very much going on that way. And so I wandered off across the lawn and then the car park and round to the end of the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen quite a few good sunsets over here just recently. With us reaching the shortest day of the year I was hoping that we would have a good view of the sun at its perigee and today I was not going to be disappointed at all. It’s not as good as one or two that we have seen, but it’s certainly better than most.

No ships or anything like hat out at sea so I wandered off again on my walk.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut then I didn’t really advance very far before I stopped again.

We’ve seen plenty of fishing boat out at sea today, but it’s not just at sea that there’s a pile of fishing going on. Even though we are not at the period of the Grand Marée there are even so a few people down there taking part in the peche à pied this afternoon.

They were throwing a few things into a bucket, so I watched for a few minutes and then wandered off myself down the path. We still had our two boats in the chantier navale, the yacht and the fishing boat that arrived yesterday, and nothing else.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III f-ghyz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there looking down on the chantier navale, my train of thought was interrupted by my being overflown.

We’ve had plenty of people on land, and plenty of people out at sea, so there is no reason at all why we shouldn’t have plenty of people in the air. Today, it’s the turn of a Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, registration number F-GHYZ.

As far as I can tell, it’s a machine owned by the Rennes Air Club and according to its flight plan, it’s on its way to Rennes St Jacques Airport.

And so I wandered on home and made myself a nice hot mug of coffee to keep me going.

It was time for me to think about a puddling for next week. With plenty of cooking apples on hand, I made myself a small apple crumble. And with some crumble left over, I made a second, smaller one.

Earlier on in the day I’d taken out a dollop of dough from the freezer. By now it was defrosted so I kneaded it properly, mixed it around and then rolled it out and put it into the pizza tray, folding the overhanging edges back inside.

With an hour or so to spare I came back in here and had a play around with a few things that needed doing and did my Welsh homework for the day again.

When the pizza base had risen, I put on the oven and brought it to temperature and bunged in the apple crumbles. While the crumbles were doing, I prepared my pizza and when the apple crumble were cooked, I took them out and then put the pizza in.

place d'armes lights out to sea english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile the pizza was cooking, I went out for my evening walk and runs. All the way down to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Earlier on, we saw the photo of all of the fishing boats out there this evening. Plenty more than were shown on the photograph as I mentioned, but there was something else that caught my eye.

This particular light here is something quite out of the ordinary and I’ve no idea at all as to what it might be. It’s not likely to be a fishing work light this close to the rocks at the Pointe du Roc. But nevertheless, there were still a couple of other lights in the background from other fishing boats making their way into the harbour.

light on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was standing at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord, I did my impression of Lord Darnhall’s wife at the sermon in the church on the first holiday of the year, and cast my eye about.

And here’s a thing that caught my eye too. I’ve no idea what this might be but there was some kind of light going on and off on the beach down below at the foot of the steps. There didn’t seem to be anyone standing around down there with it and after a few minutes, the light failed to come on again and that was that.

From there, I pushed on along the Rue du Nord, breaking into a run as much as I could. And then I disappeared down the path underneath the walls, avoiding the puddles.

english channel st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHalfway along the footpath I stopped at my usual place to catch my breath, and there I looked out to sea.

It was reasonably clear on the horizon and so I had a try at taking another delayed-exposure photograph or two (or three or four with all kinds of different settings) of the general area in which lies St Helier. Most of them ended up filed under “CS” but one of them was worth another look, although I’ve taken many better photos than these.

You can’t actually see the street lights of the town down here but the red light on the radio mast at the back of the town is clearly visible on the photo, even if it wasn’t visible with the naked eye.

square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there, I walked on down to the end of the path – forgetting to break into a run which was rather disappointing.

Across the Square Maurice Marland I ran, right away to the far side. From there, before I walked up to the top of the walls, I looked back across the square back towards where this leg of the run began and I have to say that I’ve not really appreciated the view from this viewpoint and so I decided to take a photograph from here looking backwards.

Down in the Rue Notre Dame I met Minette‘s mum so we had a chat for a while and then I ran on home.

apple crumble vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, my pizza was properly cooked so I sat down and ate it, having photographed it first with my apple crumble.

No pudding tonight again of course – the pizza was quite filling and I didn’t need anything else to eat. And then I came back in here to write up my notes for the day.

Tomorrow I have my radio programme to do. I want to finish off the live concert for the month of February and then do a live concert for the month of March. If there’s time again, there’s the month of April to do and then we’ll be right bang up to date.

While I’m in Leuven, if I can do 2, or even 3 radio programme’s worth of music and then deal with the speech when I return, I’ll be well away with where I would like to be. 20 weeks ahead is ideal because if I have plans to do anything over the summer, although I don’t quite know what or whether we’ll even be able to do anything anyway, there will be a breathing space for me to have a little break.

And I can’t say that I don’t need one.

Friday 18th December 2020 – AS YOU PROBABLY …

… might have guessed – after yesterday there was no hope whatever of my beating the third alarm to my feet. Not a hope.

In fact it was 09:35 when I finally shook off whatever it was that I was suffering from and arose from the dead.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And while I might not have been here in body, I was certainly out and about in spirit.

We started off in the living room in Shavington and there were piles of us there – we’d got ourselves into little groups. Suddenly another 11 children arrived and we had to add a couple of children to each of the groups. Not being able to find anything and not being able to think of a good way of doing it I cut up a paper into 8 with 8 squares because 2 of the kids were quite well known to us and one of the leaders of one of the groups immediately bagged them as soon as they walked in. That left 8 or 9, maybe there was 1 left over. The idea was that someone would call out say 1 and 2, or 7 and 4 or 3 and 1 or something and that way have these kids allocated. This took so long in doing, for reasons that I don’t understand – there was a dog asleep on the sofa and I couldn’t find half my paperwork, I’d lost my keys and there was something that I knew before I went to bed that I couldn’t find. And everyone had crashed out to sleep in a heap anyway so it wouldn’t make any difference whose group anyone went to.

Later, we’d been off on a University field trip. Again, we’d been divided into groups and we’d been to visit all of these particular sites. Our group came across a particular site where there was a destroyed statue or cairn or something and the remains of what was quite classed quite clearly as an Iron-Age fort. We reckoned that there had been a battle here maybe and that the fort had been overwhelmed by the Romans and they had built a Victory cairn. of course, time had weathered everything away. The tutor came to see how we were doing and we showed her this and explained our theory. She was immediately all excited and said “there’s a Mr so-and-so coming round with another group. Make sure that one of you grabs hold of him and show him all of this”. Of course I had the short straw so I had to stay behind while they all moved off but I forgot his name so that wasn’t any good. When I tried to ask each group that came along, no-one would actually identify themselves as being this special person doing this special research. By then it was almost time to go home and everyone was congregating down at the bottom so I went down to the bottom and there were 1 or 2 more groups that I hadn’t seen who hadn’t made it round yet so I asked them. Someone stepped forward but this person didn’t correspond with the description that I’d been given. I don’t think that I ever solved that particular problem about finding that person and showing them that sight.

Still plenty to go at yet. I was next somewhere around the Crewe Road in Nantwich. I was looking in a driveway and there was a shoot of what looked like one of these ground alder trees pushing up. I took hold of it and pulled it to pull it up but off shot this root. I had to follow this root and it went for a couple of hundred yards all the way down Crewe Road pulling it up out of the tarmac. In the end I thought “this is going to go on for ever” so I cut it off with a pair of sharp scissors, making sure that I did it behind a bud. Then I had to go and wash my hands that were filthy so I went into a garage of a house – the door was open. I had a look but there was no water in there but the drain was like a drain down from the house above the garage went off in a 90° elbow but the pipe that it went into wasn’t a tight fit at all – just something pushed over and was dripping away. I pulled it apart to clean it but I lost a piece, the drain plug underneath the elbow. I had to reassemble it but still it wouldn’t go on correctly – there was this piece missing too. In the end I found the piece and put it in but the junction was no better and probably even worse than it was before I’d started messing with it. In the end, after having been there for about 10 minutes I just left it and thought that the occupier will have to deal wit it when he realises that he has a really bad leak worse than he had before.

Finally there were 2 of us inside this hospital ward, me and a woman or girl. I can’t remember how this started now but we were in there talking away and I thought “I’d better go and put some clothes on in a moment” so I looked around for a dressing gown but thought “no, I may as well go down to my bed” which was a few floors below. Off I set down the stairs but someone accosted me going down the stairs and asked “do you think that there ought to be separate stairs for patients?”. I couldn’t be bothered about that so I said “yes, absolutely right” and trotted off down these stairs and ended up at my bed on floor Minus 2. it was really early in the morning and a lot of people were still asleep even though the alarm had gone off a long while ago. I had a chat with a few people while I made my bed and then went to make myself a coffee in the put but it turned out that I made soup instead – I must have opened the wrong sachet and there were these dehydrated vegetables everywhere. The lid of the pot was on wrong and that wasn’t going to help matters any. I was having a bit of a moan about this. I noticed that there was a little girl in bed, about 4 or so, asleep in one of the beds, fast asleep with her arms open really wide as if she was hugging something. I remembered that she has her big teddy bear in the cupboard underneath her bed so I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if I got her teddy out and put it on her bed so she could put her arms round it and cuddle it while she was asleep?”. Then I had another thought that I’d better get dressed, but how was I going to remember where this room was that I’d just come from that I’d go back and meet this woman? Then I realised that with it being to common day room of our particular ward it should be written on a piece of paper somewhere on a list so I ought to go and find this list and check to see which room it was that I had just come from.

With all of that going on, it’s hardly surprising that I didn’t leave the bed until 09:35, is it?

And it goes without saying that it took me all of the morning to type out all of that.

Next task was to book my few days in Belgium. Much to my surprise, the trains are actually running according to the timetable (although there is still plenty of time for all that to change of course) and in view of the fact that I had a Christmas bonus voucher from the SNCF the price of the return ticket to Brussels – 1300 kilometres of which about half is undertaken on a TGV – came to just €121:00. I reckon that that’s about the cheapest that I’ve had.

My departure is on Monday 28th December and my return will be on Sunday 3rd January, so I’ll be celebrating New Year in Belgium.

After lunch, I had a look at the kefir.

This morning I finished one of the bottles which mean that the last bottle of Kiwi Kefir went in the fridge. The next batch is ready and so I attended to that. 4 of the clementines went in the whizzer and were whizzed up nicely to extract the juice which was then passed through my nest of filters into the large 3-litre jug.

clementine kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe kefir was then poured through the nest of filters into the jug, leaving about an inch of the mother solution behind. 40 grammes (7 large lumps) of sugar, half a lemon cut into slices and a dried fig cut in half went in too, and then the bottle was filled up with 2.5 litres of water and the top sealed.

The clementine kefir was then run back through the fine filter and funnelled into the various bottles that I use, and here’s the finished solution.

That’s enough for about 5 days of medication in the morning and if it works properly (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t) it will be delicious. I like my Clementine kefir, but I’m going to have to experiment with other varieties.

Next step, which I mustn’t forget, is to feed the sourdough. As I said, my next batch of bread is going to be a standard batch of yeast bread, just to see whether it’s my technique at fault, but I’m not going to completely abandon the idea of sourdough.

Despite still not feeling very well, I wasn’t going to let it prevent me from heading out to my afternoon walk around the headland.

colours in water rainstorm ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while it wasn’t as yet raining, I could see that at any moment it was about to, and I’m glad that i’d donned my raincoat.

You can see from here that the Ile de Chausey is shrouded in a rainstorm and quite luckily at the moment the wind is blowing out to sea. The moment the wind drops we’ll be getting all of that on our heads.

And you’ll notice that other weird phenomenon that we have sometimes over here too. The different colours in the water there. And I wish that I had a tame oceanographer handy who could explain it all to me.

marine debris peche a pied Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe high winds and damp weather were keeping most people indoors this afernoon. There can’t have been more than half a dozen folk out there this afternoon.

But there was at least one brave soul out there this afternoon. After I’d walked around the headland and started back on the other side I came across this guy out there having a go at the peche à pied to see what he could find.

And while we don’t usually see much marine debris around here, and I’ve never known for sure why, there’s some in this photo. What looks like a concrete block to his right and a sheet of moulded composite board further over.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a little cabin cruiser in the chantier navale.

You’ll remember that I speculated that it wouldn’t be around here for very long, and it seems that I was right on that score because here she is today, gone. Conspicuous by her absence.

As for the big yacht that’s been in here since time immemorial, it looks as if she’s having a new coat of paint. So here’s hoping that the rainstorm is going to keep well away until it’s dried. It’s really not the kind of weather to be out there painting anything right now.

As for me, it wasn’t the kind of weather for me to be out there either. I came on back home for a coffee.

After the coffee I spent an hour or so working on the arrears of the summer, and then knocked off for guitar practice, which went much better. I discovered that I could even play the bass to “White Wedding” while I’m singing it, which would have astonished me three months ago.
“Hey little sister, what do you think about that?”
“It’s a nice day to start again.”

christmas lights rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallPutting down the guitar I was back out again quite quickly for my evening runs.

And it seems that I’ve started a trend. I had a letter put through my letter box by one of my neighbours to thank me for brightening up the place with my lights, and it seems that the guy who lives in the house by the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord has decided to follow suit.

There were plenty of fishing boats out there tonight but I imagine that you are pretty sick of seeing substandard photos of blurred boats beating a retreat across the Bay back to port, so I left them alone. Instead I ran on all the way round to the viewpoint over looking the Place Marechal Foch, a rund that I do in three legs, rather lake Jake The Peg.

christmas lights rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing happening there but seeing as it was before 19:30 all of the lights on the shops in the Rue Paul Poirier were illuminated.

We’d missed them by a tiny fraction of a second yesterday and I was determined not to miss them today to make up for it.

The run across the Square Maurice Marland was totally painful. I wasn’t feeling so good and the runs up to this point had been difficult, but trying to run into the teeth of a gale was agonising. I really struggled to make it across to the other side and had to stop for a few minutes.

Nothing much happening anywhere else so I ran on home from the walls and started to make tea.

And tea was very pleasant tonight because I had company. Not physical company, I hasten to add, but my friend Esi who lives in Brussels was having a Zoom party so while I was eating my tea I joined in. Curry and rice with convivial chat for an hour or so was very nice indeed and made a pleasant change. There were about a dozen or so of us all told.

But I had to leave after a while because there’s football on the internet. Caernarfon v Y Drenewydd, with the latter badly in need of some points.

But you can’t play football in a monsoon with a howling gale blowing the ball anywhere except where you want it to go. The Cofis, playing with the wind in the 1st half scored the first goal even though Newtown had the better of the chances, but in the 2nd half the boot was on the other foot as the wind helped Newtown move up the field.

And after about 75 minutes, you could se the light go on in the head of Chris Hughes, the manager of Y Drenewydd. Sitting on his bench was Jake Phillips, who probably has the longest throw in professional football right now. And with the wind behind him, he should have been on from the restart.

But onto the field he trotted – and his first task before he’d even entered the pitch was to take a throw-in. He heaved a really long throw right into the penalty area, helped by the wind. It was headed on by a Newtown attacker to a colleague who slotted it into the net to equalise.

And that’s how the game ended – one goal each. It could have been more but Tibbetts in the Cofis goal had an excellent game to keep Newtown out, but this match was never going to be entertaining in the weather that they were having and I was glad to be undercover in my apartment.

Bed now and shopping tomorrow, if I can remember to wake up in time. There’s so much that I need to buy for my Christmas cooking and it isn’t going to be easy. I’ll have to scan through my recipes before I set out and see what I need.